It was 10 years ago that Private First Class Lori Ann Piestewa died defending her country. Saturday, a sunrise ceremony was held in her memory at the very mountain named after her.
Each year on the anniversary of her death her family gathers. As the sun rises over the mountain named in her honor, they remember.
"She's the first so we all have to come because she's important."
On March 23, 2003, U.S. Army Private First Class Lori Piestewa became the first Native American woman to be killed in action.
Private Piestewa was serving in Iraq with the 507th maintenance company. Her company was traveling in a convoy through the desert and ran into an ambush.
Fellow soldier Jessica Lynch sustained injuries in the same ambush attack. Lynch was present at the service Saturday.
Lori Piestewa was born in Tuba City, Arizona. Following the footsteps of her grandfather and father, she enlisted with the hope of bettering her chances of education and future employment.
"It's very important to remember her, what she did for our country," says cousin Abraham Ariesto.
Private Piestewa left behind a daughter, family, and friends, who will always love and remember her bravery.
A candlelight vigil was also held Friday night to honor Private First Class Piestewa and all fallen heroes.
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