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“Stunning in it's simplicity”

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Owner description: A small monument to the natives killed in the Wounded Knee massacre.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

The Wounded Knee monument is outside town, on a hill overlooking the actual massacre site, and marks the place of the mass grave of the people murdered there.

It is a stark nearly deserted place, but with very touching elements, like the small gifts left at the base of the actual monument, twigs of sage on the mass grave, and numerous ribbons acting as prayers tied to the fence.

No dramatics, just a sober place to contemplate what happened there.

Very touching.

16  Thank Gerrit P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 - 146 of 184 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2012

I would like to first clear up any confusion there might be about one's personal safety at the Wounded Knee Massacre. You will be completely safe. However, it is not advisable to be on the Pine Ridge Reservation at night. With that being said, I wouldn't drive through the hills of Appalachia at night, and I grew up there. Other reviewers are correct in that you should bring cash and expect to buy something or pay someone for their "story." The road is paved and easily passable, but there is about two hundred yards of rough road up a steep hill to the actual site. It may not be suitable for your vehicle. You can park at the foot of the road and walk up. The monument is a graveyard that is still in use. At some point, a crude fence was put around the marker, and you will likely see litter inside that fence. Expect young men to follow you up to the monument. They might not look like your local soccer kids, but they are harmless and will likely tell you a story or sell you something for cash. So here's the rub: You need to be ready to see and experience the Wounded Knee Massacre (and it was a massacre) site. Read up on it first. The park rangers at Badlands can give you a ton of info if you stop there first. It is a long haul out of the way, and you shouldn't waste the trip by taking photos and being a tourist. You need to really feel it. Bear in mind, that you will have company (the young Native American men) while you are there, so you can't really sit and meditate. Make sure to look at the graves. You will see that Native Americans fought and died in every war since WWI. Can you imagine: fighting for this country only years after it massacred your fathers and mothers? All in all, very rewarding, depressing, and humbling.

33  Thank grandfemdem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

We went to this site not expecting a federal or state park or grand site, but certainly not expecting to find a mudhole with a broken down shack blocking the view of the battlefield. We did expect to purchase hand-made crafts from the locals if they approached us, and they did, but did not appreciate being approached IN the cemetery by a local (and native) who walked on the graves of his relatives and ancestors to keep from having to walk in the mud, which we were walking in to be respectful to the graves. If the cemetery and graves are so sacred, it is sickening to have one of these people's own selling wares within the boundaries of the cemetery, walking on the graves, and pointing to fallen wooden grave markers but not considering it his duty to put them back upright. As for stopping and taking in the history and the holiness of the area, we weren't allowed.

13  Thank doctorsadie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

Wounded Knee is a sacred holy Lakota cemetery so act with respect like you would in a cathedral, yes its run down and tatty but so what, its still a simple moving place to honour one of the most persecuted nations. Remember this was their land before the white man came. The burial site of the mass murder victims has a real feeling of grief that hangs in the air. Yes you will be asked to donate or buy something and so we all should, its a very poor area and they need all the help they can get. Don't go expecting a glamorous memorial because its definitely not that but i think to see a site like this is as moving as any grave yard/ commemorative site i have seen. My wife and i were pleased we went and paid our respects.

15  Thank Barry and Nicol... G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

This is something every American needs to see in my opinion. It's raw, nothing sugar coated here. Emotion seems to envelope the entire area.We arrived about an hour before sunset and it was pretty quiet with only one other car in the parking lot. A woman walked up to the car and introduced herself and showed us where her jewelry stand was. She talked about the history of the site and where things happened. We bought some jewelry from her (don't complain about being approached and offered jewelry it's how they provide for their family). Everyone made us feel welcome and we ended up staying later than they usually stay. We then moved up the hill to pay our respects at the mass burial.

What I took away from this place was two things. This place is an open wound, it's been 122 years and it hasn't started to heal yet. For one thing the U.S. needs to apologize (it never has) and rescind the Medals of Honor, until then there will be no healing. Secondly is for all the pain, suffering and poverty there is a lot of pride and a lot of self respect. I don't pity these people because they don't want our pity, they want us to understand and know their story and they want the respect they deserve.

Pine Ridge is a harsh place to live, brutal winters and desert-like summers, 80% unemployment and no expressway running through it to bring in tourists. I-90 runs just north of the reservation if anyone pulls off the highway it is for Badlands National Park and they soon return to the highway. Make this a destination. It's worth the drive. Pay your respect and spend some of your money on the reservation.

26  Thank eli0614
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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