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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 12/9/16

Miracle at Standing Rock

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US Vets came forth and asked for forgiveness from the First Nations people. There was not a dry eye in the room.
US Vets came forth and asked for forgiveness from the First Nations people. There was not a dry eye in the room.
(Image by via Tina Malia)
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Yes, a miracle happened at Standing Rock. No, it's not the one you thought it was.

The Water Protectors have struggled for months, the veterans showed up en masse, and in hours the tide shifted, with the Army Corps of Engineers denying access to the Dakota Pipeline. For the moment.

Amidst blizzard conditions, people are leaving the area, although most are rightfully keeping a very wary eye on further developments, well aware of the cunning deception of the Dakota Access Pipeline company. That portion of the story continues to unfold, and should command our attention.

But if you weren't watching between the lines carefully, you might have missed the most important American miracle in the last couple of centuries. A miracle that begins the healing of the soul of our country.

Wesley Clark Jr. spearheaded the voluntary deployment of thousands of veterans to Standing Rock in support of the Water Protectors, via Facebook post. The project grew from several dozen participants to a couple of thousand in just a few days. And, Clark admits, eventually became a logistical challenge that took a few extra steps to keep up with. That's not surprising, many lofty visions manage to make it over the rocky path to a beneficial goal, finally, as this one did.

Clark is a screenwriter, an activist and has been a guest host for the "Young Turks" online news broadcast. He is son of General Wesley Clark, Sr., the United States Army general who is credited with ending the Kosovo war and who ran for president in 2004. Clark Jr. notes that his views about Standing Rock are in opposition to his father's perspective.

Ahead of the event, Clark said, "we have 2,500 veterans going to Standing Rock. No one is being paid a dime to stand out there and get beaten up. We will follow the example of Gandhi or Martin Luther King and turn the other cheek" according to Salon.

Amidst the intention of peaceful resistance, the miracle that emerged was the extraordinary public words of long overdue respect and apology offered to Leonard Crow Dog and the First Nations, by activist Wesley Clark, Jr.

This 2-minute video captures this miracle, which will no doubt eventually have a prominent place in history. Deservedly so.

An incredible moment of healing at Standing Rock: Hundreds of veterans ask Native elders for forgiveness.
"We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain... We didn't respect you, we polluted your Earth, we've hurt you in so many ways but we've come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness." -Wes Clark, Jr.

A portion of the letter that Clark posted on his Facebook page after the events follows:

Our action was successful thanks to the sacrifice and hard work of those who were on the ground before us and endured the risk, pain and suffering when the eyes of the world were not on Standing Rock - the water protectors, the youth, and the elders who have instructed us from the day we arrived that faith, prayer and peace are the way forward.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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