By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Congressman Cook announced that he is co-sponsoring the Remove the Stain Act. The bipartisan bill was introduced by Congressman Denny Heck (D-Washington).
The Remove the Stain Act would rescind twenty Medals of Honor from individuals who participated in the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, which resulted in the killing of over 250 Lakota Sioux, over half of which were women and children.
The descendants of survivors honored Congressman Cook and Congressman Heck with traditional star blankets and Congresswoman Haaland with a feather during a ceremony this morning.
Congressman Cook said, “The massacre at Wounded Knee was nothing less than a slaughter of Native Americans. No reading of the criteria for actions meriting a Medal of Honor – either historical or modern – can lead one to believe the United States should have awarded these twenty medals. The contemporary citations for these twenty individuals are nonspecific on acts of gallantry. I view it as vague language meant to cover up a slaughter, and I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation to correct the record.
“The Medal of Honor is our highest and most prestigious military decoration, reserved for service members who perform acts of tremendous valor. By allowing twenty individuals to retain Medals of Honor for the massacre at Wounded Knee, we dishonor every deserving Medal of Honor recipient. This bill will correct the honor roll of awardees, rescinding the medals from the twenty individuals.
“While we can never undo the actions on that day, December 29, 1890, we owe it to the decedents of the Lakota Sioux and to native peoples in general to make amends wherever possible. I thank my colleagues for joining me in introducing this legislation and hope that the House of Representatives will take action as soon as possible.”