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Indians Pray for Peace on Custer Anniversary

June 26, 1985

CROW AGENCY, Mont. (AP) _ More than a century after Northern Cheyenne Chief Two Moons led his warriors to battle the U.S. Army at the Little Bighorn River, his great- grandson led a caravan to the same site to pray for peace.

About 50 whites and Indians joined hands Tuesday to participate in the peace prayer, held on the 109th anniversary of Lt. Col. George Custer’s last stand. They had come from around the country and Canada to Austin Two Moons’ ranch, and then hiked to the site of Custer’s final battle with the Northern Cheyenne and Sioux.

The prayer vigil took place under a pair of flagpoles, one bearing a U.S. flag - a gift to Austin Two Moons from the president - and the other bearing Two Moons’ personal flag: a pair of crescents on a field of red.

″There is too much talk of nuclear war, of World War III,″ Two Moons said. ″I don’t ever want to see that. I don’t want our children or grandchildren to see that.″

Two Moons blessed each of the participants in the battlefield prayer vigil, touching a sheaf of sage to the earth, then passing it over the person’s body and face.

A dawn sprinkle ripened into a steady rain as the ceremony approched its end.

After the prayer, participants went to Two Moons’ ranch to feast on buffalo meat and fry bread.

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