Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Roach. Italy, 1944 or 1945. (Photo courtesy of Della Boyer)

The Italian Campaign, the Lord’s Prayer in Cherokee, and U.S. Army Sergeant Woodrow Wilson Roach

Sgt. Woodrow Wilson Roach (Cherokee, 1912–1984) served with the Fifth Army during the Italian Campaign, the longest continuous combat and some of the fiercest fighting of World War II. Here, his granddaughter tells the museum about his life and the Cherokee language prayer card he carried as a soldier in Europe, then as a combat engineer in the Philippines. We're especially proud to share Sgt. Roach's story this weekend, during the groundbreaking for the National Native Veterans Memorial. The memorial—to be dedicated on November 11, 2020, on the grounds of the museum on the National Mall—honors the Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces since the country was founded.