The Otipoby Comanche Cemetery Committee will conduct its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday.
The ceremony, at the cemetery on Fort Sill’s east range, will begin at 11 a.m., according to Committee Chairman Clifford Takawana.
“Members of the committee invite all family, friends, and relatives to come and decorate the graves of your loved ones and fellowship with everyone while you enjoy the beautiful view of the Cache Creek Valley and the Wichita Mountains,” he said. “There is no more beautiful site than atop the hill at Otipoby.”
Realizing that all families have lost loved ones, Takawana said this is the time to pay tribute to them.
“Memorial Day is a day of remembering those that were our Mothers, Fathers, Grandma or Grandpas, Atahs and Aunties,” he said.
Members of the Comanche Indian Veterans Association and the committee helped with the installation of military markers for Garner Pewewardy, Richard (Bunky) Henson and Eldridge (Peaches) Tahdooahnippah recently. Takawana said a dedication ceremony will be conducted to honor these veterans.
“All veterans will be recognized and flags will be placed at their gravesites,” he said.
The honored elder this year is Susan Cothren, who is the only female to have served as Comanche Tribal chairman, vice chairman and secretary/treasurer in her time of service on the Comanche Business Committee, Takawana said.
Martina Minthorn, who serves as director of the Comanche Historical Preservation Program, will provide a briefing of that program and how it is serving the Comanche people, Takawana said.
Takawana said a tradition will continue with the day’s events.
“At our last committee meeting, we began to tell stories of our people and we wanted to stay all day, some made us laugh and made us remember our old ones,” he said. “We will conduct a story telling session during the potluck meal.”
Prizes will be given to the best story, according to Takawana.
“They can be funny or scary (Mopits,” he said. “This is a way to share experiences and to help keep alive the memories of our loved ones.”
Visitor passes are required and can be obtained at the Visitors Center located at the Sheridan Road Gate at Fort Sill.
For more information, call Takawana at 940-391-1085.