Post 1479 fights to honor those who served

The American Legion Post in the heart of the Mohawk Nation territory of Akwesasne serves as more than just a place for veterans.

Dan Lyon

Everyone is welcome at American Legion Post 1479. Located in the heart of the Mohawk Nation territory of Akwesasne, the post is a community watering-hole, a place where friends and families on the territory can go for a quiet drink, and a symbol that honors the brave men and women who have served both the United States and Canadian militaries throughout the years.

Juxtaposed against the complex history of Native Americans and their treatment by Americans and Canadians of European origin, there is a real sense of pride in the warriors here, who served both their country and their Indian nation.

“Love your friend and never desert him,” reads an Iroquois inscription on a WWII memorial plaque inside the Legion. “If you see him surrounded by the enemy do not run away. Go to him, and if you cannot save him, be killed together, and let your bones lie side by side.”

Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, April 6, 2019.
Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Dan Lyon)
An enclosed statue of Kateri Tekakwitha, the "Lily of the Mohawks," stands in front of a cultural center for which she is named.
An enclosed statue of Kateri Tekakwitha, the "Lily of the Mohawks," stands in front of a cultural center for which she is named.(Photo by Dan Lyon)
This memorial outside of Post 1479 honors service members from the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory who were lost in combat.
This memorial outside of Post 1479 honors service members from the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory who were lost in combat.(Photo by Dan Lyon)
A shadowbox sits in the middle of the American Legion with artifacts from Akwesasne veterns the post has collected over the years.
A shadowbox sits in the middle of the American Legion with artifacts from Akwesasne veterans the post has collected over the years.(Photo by Dan Lyon)
The American Legion's cemetary is located less than a mile from the border of Quebec. A large white cross overlooks the dozens of gravestones that are decorated with both American and Mohawk iconography.
The American Legion's cemetary is located less than a mile from the border of Quebec. A large white cross overlooks the dozens of gravestones that are decorated with both American and Mohawk iconography.(Photo by Dan Lyon)
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Post 1479 is not solely a place for veterans. It also serves as a community center where Mohawks go for a quiet drink with friends.(Photo by Dan Lyon)
Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, April 7, 2019.
Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, April 7, 2019.(Photo by Dan Lyon)
Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, April 6, 2019.
Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Dan Lyon)

This story was originally published at TheNewsHouse.com.

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Dan Lyon is a rising senior in the Newhouse Visual Communications program, where he studies photojournalism. He previously interned at the Cortland Standard as a multimedia intern and is currently the photo editing intern at The Wall Street Journal.

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