For the past several years, it has been my honor to participate in the closing ceremony, the retreat of the flags, at the Native American pow-wow in Old Town. The first time I attended, they were calling for veterans to volunteer to carry the flags and were short by one person. I am a veteran, so I said I would do it. Their response to my participation was both astounding and humbling.
However, you can't participate without a blanket, which we Anglos think of as a big triangular shawl. The first year someone just loaned me a big square blanket, which they then folded and draped around me. Last year I was loaned a beautiful blanket embroidered in memory of someone's son who had served.
This year I am determined to participate fully and do my part to honor their ceremony by having my own blanket. But what to have? I am not Native American, so wearing a blanket or shawl in any tribal designs wouldn't be appropriate. I think my choices are olive drab green (for my Army service) and perhaps embroider on the back the years of service. I could also create something of red, white and blue, but I don't want to be too showy. Or I could just go with classic black.
I noticed last year that just about everyone has some kind of fringe on their blanket, and good fringe can be expensive. I nearly donated two brocade table covers to Goodwill--literally had it in the box which I was unloading--until I noticed the beautiful gold fringe all the way around the edge. Now that problem is solved and I can start working on my blanket.
Native American DaysAugust 3, 3:00 p.m. to August 4, 5:00 p.m., 2012
Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, New Mexico
(just northeast of Rio Grande Blvd. and Central Avenue)