Memorial Day marks the day that fashionistas across the Unites States can roll out their white clothing and officially begin wearing their summer wardrobe.
It’s so hot here in Arizona, we’ve been wearing our whites for ages, but while I speak of all this lightheartedly, what’s really on my mind is the true purpose of Memorial Day: the remembrance of those who died while serving in the US Military.
One service member who’s significant here in Phoenix, and whom I’d like to honor today, is Army Spc. Lori Ann Piestewa.
Lori Piestawa was deployed to Iraq in early 2003, just five weeks later she was killed in action. At the time of her death, she was 23 years old and left behind two young children.
Piestawa was the first female soldier killed in action during the Iraq War; she was also the first Native American woman to be killed in action in the U.S. military.
After her death, the second-highest (and one of the most popular) mountains in Phoenix was renamed to honor her: Piestawa Peak.
As a Phoenix resident who sees this incredible mountain every day, I’m reminded of Lori Piestawa’s sacrifice, and that of other service members.
Thank you to them for giving us the ultimate sacrifice - this day is for you.