Thursday is not only Veterans Day; it also marks the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Elsworth GoesAhead is part of a contingent of Crow People who have made the trip to the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia for this week’s ceremonies.
It has some historical significance for the Crow People.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around the magnitude of this event. There is so much history tied to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. To set foot and be in the presence of all these fallen warriors is very humbling,” said GoesAhead.
GoesAhead’s great-great uncle—the great Crow Chief Plenty Coups—was invited there by President Warren G. Harding for the original dedication of the tomb in 1921.
“He had taken many trips to Washington, D.C., to negotiate with the U.S. government on behalf of the Crow people, and he was considered to be an eloquent speaker. And he represented his people very well," he said.
This week, GoesAhead was there to represent the Crow people, carrying the same flag that his great-great uncle once did.
“Since his passing, this flag has been handed down through my family lineage, and I’m the fifth person in succession to carry the flag, including Chief Plenty Coups himself. It does not belong to me. it belongs to the Crow people and I have the distinct responsibility of carrying it for the Crow people,” he says.
GoesAhead is the post commander for Chief Plenty Coups honor guard, a group of eight military veterans who were invited to this week’s ceremonies.
“We have Vietnam veterans, we have Afghanistan war veteran and a few other veterans that have served in different places around the world,” GoesAhead said.
They were joined by members of the Plenty Coups High School Indian club as well as several others.
He says to be at this sacred place with so much significance is an honor he won’t forget.
“It’s exciting and it’s an honor to represent not only Crow nation but Montana as well. This event is what I feel America needs right now. In today’s crazy world, this is an event that America can get behind.”