Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf Made an Honorary Indian Chief

"Norman Schwarzkopf - The general of Gulf War fame 
was inducted into the Osage Tribe in October 1993, 
the day the bison were released into the Tallgrass, 
in a dignified ceremony next to the old Chapman-Barnard 
Ranch headquarters. It was a rare honor that the Osages 
accorded, and they gave Schwarzkopf a name that 
translates to Eagle Chief."---Osage County History

The name Norman Schwarzkopf has been famous in America for generations. In the 1930s, Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. led the investigation into the infamous Lindbergh kidnapping. His son is the general who led Desert Storm and freed Kuwait.

The Bryan Times (10-19-93) reports that "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf was made an honorary chief of the Osage Indian nation. The ceremony was held at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, and the Nature Conservancy used the occasion to release 300 bison:

Chief Schwarzkopf? Why not?

That's what Osage Nation leaders asked during the Persian Gulf War, when GEN. NORMAN SCHWARZKOPF said on television that he had been made an honorary Osage chief.
It was news to the Osage, but they liked the idea and made it official in 1991. But it wasn't until Monday that they formally named Schwarzkopf Eagle Chief, meaning "the top man."
At daybreak, Schwarzkopf, draped in an Indian blanket, held out his palms as ED RED EAGLE Sr., head of the Osage Eagle Clan, blessed him with a ceremonial eagle feather.
"I will never disgrace it, I promise you that," the retired general said of this latest accolade for his Desert Storm leadership.
One of the wonderful things is that even though Native Americans suffered greatly at the hands of the military, they still loved this nation enough to serve this country, Schwarzkopf said, accepting the honor for those who served under him in the Gulf War.
The ceremony at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve was attended by about 300 tribal members and supporters of the Nature Conservancy, which used the occasion to release 300 bison at the preserve.

Three hundred bison came home to live in the tallgrass where they once had sole domain. An Indian tribe adopted a chief judged worthy of its exclusive heritage.

An ecological kingdom that almost vanished began to reappear.

More reporters and photographers than bison were present at the release ceremony Monday at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. The story, however it was told - of the return of the bison herds, of the delicate balance of a prairie ecosystem, of a famous American finding his place in middle America - fascinated such media giants as CBS, CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The Nature Conservancy released the herd into the vast expanse of prairie grass with a drama that appealed even to the bison. As they ran through a narrow chute onto the 5,000 acres initially reserved for them, they were numerous enough to create the legendary sound of "thundering hooves," to depict the often-described sight of brown humps sailing on waves of golden grass...

[Schwarzkopd] joined the Nature Conservancy board of governors last year.
Monday, he enthusiastically called "restoring an ecosystem to its former health and grandeur ... a heroic effort. " In a practical tone, he praised the Nature Conservancy as a "don't talk ... do" organization.

He noted, "not one nickel of government money" supports the prairie preserve, and concluded, "I'm convinced that's the solution to many of the problems we face in America today: when we, the American people, come together and decide to solve it." But the idealistic side of him posed: "Think what it's going to be like years from now ... you can climb one of those hills, and as far as you can see, you'll see tallgrass prairie ... and out there in the middle, bison! "


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