QOTD: Ride onward, hero, into legend


“If I should be killed, I want you to bury me on one of the hills east of the place where my grandparents and brothers and sisters and other relatives are buried.”

“If you have a memorial service, I want the soldiers to go ahead with the American Flag. I want cowboys to follow, all on horseback. I want one of the cowboys to lead one of the wildest of the T over X horses with saddle and bridle on.”

“I will be riding that horse.”  

– Private Clarence Spotted Wolf, US Army, 1914-1944

Such were the words of a full-blooded Gros Ventre Indian and American hero, who fell in Luxembourg during WWII.   I ran across his story in the Crazy Horse memorial gallery, in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  His last request struck me for its blend of Western mythos and patriotism.

After the war, his remains were repatriated, and the funeral was held as he requested:

“On January 28, in Yellowwoods, North Dakota, the memorial service he had foreseen was held in his honor. It was an impressive ceremony. The Stars and Stripes presided over the winter bare hills where Clarence Spotted Wolf’s family and friends carried out his wishes. There were soldiers; there were cowboys; and his own saddle had been placed on the T over X horse, which was led in the procession….  As for the empty saddle — who knows?”

Published in History
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  1. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey

    A great post. I knew nothing about him, and I bet I’m not the only one. Despite its somber subject matter, it’s the feel-good about America post for a holiday weekend.

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member

    OmegaPaladin: As for the empty saddle — who knows?

    He said he would be there. He was there.

    This is the Quote of the Day, and helps to show just how much range we have on quotations here. If you have run across an interesting quotation, why not share it with us? Our September sign-up sheet still has several openings and awaits you as a volunteer.

    • #2
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