Column: Missed opportunity in naming Piestewa Peak
"The e-mails and phone calls started pouring into Washington a week ago, urging that a certain controversial Phoenix landmark be named for a certain fallen Arizona soldier who should be anything but controversial.

"We've gotten probably about 100 e-mails and a dozen and a half phone calls," said Lou Yost, executive secretary to the federal panel that next week will decide whether to change the name of Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak. "Most of the e-mails we've received in the past week have been pro, which is the opposite of the number of e-mails we've gotten over the past five years."

I was against naming the peak for Piestewa five years ago - not because it was an honor she didn't deserve but because her time hadn't come. Now that is has come, the honor seems sadly hollow. Her legacy should have been that people come to see the word "squaw" in a new light: that the word offends, regardless of its linguistic root; that we all grow in understanding and respect.

Instead, the name Piestewa has become a fighting word. While others who serve are honored for their sacrifice, she, it seems, is destined to be a political hot potato. Surely no other fallen soldier has been so scorned.

I don't blame the people who question whether she, above all others, deserves this honor. It's hard not to gag when something's shoved down your throat."

Get the Story:
Laurie Roberts: Peak's renaming missed opportunity (The Arizona Republic 4/2)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Approve designation of Piestewa Peak (4/1)
Federal board to vote on Piestewa Peak (3/31)
Letter: Rename peak for Lori Piestewa again (3/26)
Ceremony honors Lori Piestewa and Native soldiers (3/25)
Family looks back on Lori Piestewa's death (3/20)