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PHOENIX -- Native American veterans and their families are honoring the first Native American woman to die in battle in a special way before the 10th anniversary of her death.

The first annual Lori Piestewa Memorial Gourd Dance was held Friday to honor her and all fallen soldiers.

"The gourd dancers want to honor her, to always remember her name and what she did," said Wilfred Jeans, event organizer.

A candlelight vigil will be held Friday night to honor all of our fallen heroes at the Salvation Army South Mountain KROC Center, located at 1375 E. Broadway in Phoenix.

On Saturday there is a sunrise memorial for Piestewa. The event begins at 6:30 a.m. at Piestewa Peak at the Apache Ramada. Parking is limited. Attendees are encouraged to park at the Lincoln Heights Church, 2121 E. Lincoln Dr., and use the provided shuttle.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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