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Pala honors Native American war veterans with replica of 'The Gift'

8 Aug 2017

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Pala Casino Spa and Resort and the Pala Band of Mission Indians have partnered with the American Indian Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Committee to educate the public about the military service of Native Americans to the U.S. and to help support the funding of a national memorial to those veterans.

To launch the Pala fund raising campaign, a half-size replica of "The Gift," the memorial to those veterans, will be displayed in the Pala Casino Spa and Resort hotel lobby from 1 September until 30 November. The replica is an exact copy of the 12-foot bronze statue that will serve as the centerpiece of the memorial and has been on tour in California's American Indian-owned casinos and resorts since Veterans' Day, 11 November 2016. The final installation includes the monument surrounded by soaring bronze eagles on pedestals placed in a landscaped viewing area.

The monument, created by renowned sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg, will be the first national memorial in a national veterans' cemetery to honor over 200 years of patriotism by America's original inhabitants. The memorial will be located at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California, which is often cited as the Arlington of the West because it is home to the Medal of Honor Memorial, the Veterans Memorial and the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Memorial.

The AIANVMC hopes to raise $3 million to complete the installation at Riverside National Cemetery.

"The Pala Band of Mission Indians and all our team members at Pala Casino are very proud to play a role in this history-making program. With our reputation for community service we know we can make a significant contribution to this long-awaited honor and recognition for Native Americans," said Robert Smith, chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians.

To donate, please visit the American Indian Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Committee website.
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