Wounded Knee


On our trip out of the Black Hills, we drove south to Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Why?  I wanted my sons to understand the Tragedy of the massacre, as well as the depressing aspects of reservations overall: few jobs, little opportunity, much alcoholism.  We ate dinner in the town of Pine Ridge in a simple restaurant, while Sioux ceremonial music played in the background.  Afterward we walked the town, talked to some of the locals, and drove to the massacre site. 

Pine Ridge.jpg

My sons had known nothing of it, so visiting the place was a somber experience for them.  Oddly it’s not well maintained, and only the elders know much about it.  Area teenagers, as with teenagers everywhere, have been seduced by pop culture and aren’t very familiar with this history.  Perhaps they will be as they get older.  I told the boys also of the AIM Uprising in 1973, with the rebellion and the shootings, and how that ushered in an era of wicked violence that surpassed even the murder rate of Detroit at the time.  Hard to fathom, but then many things are.


My sons were quiet as we headed south.  We’d planned to camp on the high plains but severe storms changed that, so we drove through the Sand Hills listening to Modest Mouse of all things until we found a motel in Ogallala.  An interesting and haunting way to end a beautiful trip.

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