Monday, September 10, 2007

- I was quoted in the newspaper!!!!

Ok, so my mom and I went to the 150th MMM Anniversary. I have much to tell; long lost cousins, Cherokee spirit release ceramonies, politics, family history, movies, bones/anthropologists, trail of tears, family fueds, etc. It's been an.....interesting.....last few days, and I have much to write about, but I'll need time to get it all straight in my brain. We did find out we're related to yet another family on the wagontrain, so now we are related to the Tackitt's, Miller's, Jones', AND the Cameron's. I know you don't know who any of these people are, but to me it's interesting.

On the knitting tip, I've got 4 preemie hats done for the "Knitting for Vincent" charity, and I hope to get them pictured, and mailed off this week. I'll be back home on Wednesday, my wonderful BF will be picking me up, YEAH! Ok, with no futher ado, I have attached the articles for your pleasure. I'm famous. See what happens when you bump into a celebrity, two days later you are in two seperate newpapers being quoted! Ok, I know I said with no further ado, here you go.

There are a few seperate articles. I will highlight my portion in red:

Marking a tragedyMore than 120 people gather for memorial service

(my mom in the picture)

MOUNTAIN MEADOWS - More than 120 people gathered Saturday at the Mountain Meadows Memorial to recognize the massacre that took place Sept. 11, 1857.
The memorial service was conducted by the Rev. Buddy Herrington, of the Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church, who spoke of forgiveness.
"We're all so much more alike than different," Herrington said. "Forgiveness must come before healing. Lack of forgiveness means continued suffering," Herrington said, as he highlighted events from the Bible and American history.
"What is needed is reconciliation, whether the truth of what happened here will ever be known," Herrington said.
Participants sang hymns, listened to Herrington's speech, and watched Terry Fancher, president of the Mountain Meadows Association, place a wreath adorned with red and white roses on the memorial.
"I was very pleased with the service and the message," Fancher said. "I had chills. I thought I was going to break up a couple of times," he said, pointing to surrounding hills where shots were first fired at the pioneers.
Mystery surrounds the events at Mountain Meadows, where about 120 pioneers traveling from Arkansas to California were attacked by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the assistance of Paiutes, according to some accounts.
People from both sides died, but the pioneers eventually surrendered, according to the Web site, After the militia men disarmed the pioneers, they killed everyone but 17 children. These children were eventually returned to Arkansas to live with relatives.
The exact motivation for the massacre and details of the event are unknown.
James Golden Lee, a descendant of John D. Lee, said he visits Mountain Meadows every year.
"This is pretty sacred ground here. Not just because my great-great-grandfather died here, but because it's part of the church's history," Lee said.
John D. Lee was blamed for the massacre and was executed at the Mountain Meadows site, according to Lee helped persuade the pioneers to surrender by promising them a safe return to Cedar City and protection against the Paiutes, according to an article written by Richard E. Turley Jr., managing director for the Family and Church History Department of the LDS church.
Descendants from the victims were also at the memorial, including Milene and Elisa Rawlinson, of Oakland, Calif.
"I found myself in tears at the service," said Milene.
Elisa said the memorial was "very distressing," but was nice for descendants of different families to meet each other.
"There were long-lasting repercussions for the survivors," Elisa said. "To go from a structured family unit, then to massive deaths, to being kidnapped and re-dispersed to other families. There's got to be repercussions after that." The Rawlinsons are direct descendants of the Tackitts, but also related to the Millers and the Joneses who were all a part of the wagon train traveling to California.
(My editorial: We are also related to the Camerons)
Robert Briggs, a member of the Mountain Meadows Association, said having the memorial gave people the chance to "heal."
"Part of that healing is for us to acknowledge the evil that was committed here and recognize the hurt and injustice those suffered from Arkansas."

Massacre services reopen wounds; Some Mountain Meadows families seek apology
By Carrie A. MooreDeseret Morning News
Published: Sept. 10, 2007 12:08 a.m. MDT,5143,695208654,00.html
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS, Washington County — William Henry Tackitt was a baby when his parents and several extended family members were murdered, so his descendants came to southern Utah to remember him this weekend, knowing he was lucky to come out alive.
His father, Pleasant, age 25, and mother, Armilda Miller Tackitt, 22, were among 120 California-bound emigrants killed Sept. 11, 1857, during the Mountain Meadows Massacre. William and his 4-year-old brother, Emberson, were among the approximately 18 child survivors who were spared by Mormon militiamen because they were too young to tell the tale.
On orders from Latter-day Saint leaders in the Cedar City area, the militia exterminated everyone else in the unarmed wagon train party after promising them safe passage if they would surrender their weapons.
After 150 years, William's great-granddaughter, Milene Rawlinson, finally came to see the place that remains large in family memory. A retired teacher from the San Francisco Bay area, she remembers traveling through the terrain north of St. George as a child, but her father couldn't find any monument or memorial to the victims.
Like many of his generation, he didn't talk much about the massacre. But the Internet has opened a new world of both answers and questions to Rawlinson, as she has sought to find her family history and genealogy.
Story continues below
In her search, Rawlinson came upon Arkansas census records from 1860, listing both William and Emberson — by then ages 5 and 8, respectively — as survivors of the massacre. The two, along with 15 other child survivors, were returned to family members in Arkansas by federal authorities in 1859. They were raised by their maternal grandparents.
Emberson Tackitt was old enough to remember some of what occurred, Rawlinson said, and actually testified against John D. Lee, the only man ever found guilty and executed for the crime. Over time, she's heard a few family stories that came through her great uncle's family.
One was his memory of when the "Indians" had him and were threatening to kill him, but he offered them his pants and his boots if they would spare his life. "He was surprised when they went down to the river and washed off the war paint, and he discovered they were white men," she said.
Through e-mail contact with one of Emberson's descendants, she has also learned that the boy "remembered seeing people wearing his mother's clothing and using family items" that had apparently been taken following the massacre.
While many of the descendants seem to have come to terms with what took place, others "are incredibly angry still," Rawlinson said, noting conversations she has had with others who are in southern Utah this weekend for a variety of memorial events. The largest events have been sponsored by the Mountain Meadows Association, whose mission has been to seek reconciliation and forgiveness.
Yet some members of that group, as well as two others comprised mostly of victims' descendants, say they remain troubled "because there has been no specific apology" from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, despite their creation of monuments and memorials to the victims, said Elisa Rawlinson, Milene's daughter.
"It was because of actions that were started with the church, and there's been no apology for that," she said.
Milene's husband, John, said another sticking point is that "the Mormon Church is the owner of the bones of those who died." In studies for a Ph.D. in religious history, he said the situation parallels that of Native Americans who are now questioning why white men who invaded their territory can lay claim to the bones of their ancestors.
The Rawlinsons said they would like to see federal control of Mountain Meadows to help assuage the feelings.
Paul Fancher, a descendant of one of the victims and an MMA member, said he would like to see the LDS Church retain control of the site because he believes it will be well-preserved. But that doesn't mean he feels reconciled about what happened.
"There's two things that rankle the Fanchers: one, that the massacre occurred; and two, that no one has ever stepped up and said, 'We did it, and we're sorry.' For 100 years, it was covered up the best it could be," he said.
Fancher doesn't claim to be a researcher or historian, but he's read all the books available about the massacre and compiled a thick volume of family history.
"The truth will set you free," he said, quoting historian Juanita Brooks, whose work on Mountain Meadows several decades ago helped set the stage for contemporary examinations of the event.
He said he believes true reconciliation will only come with time and a direct apology from top church leaders.
"I think if they would step up today and say, 'Look, we did everything everybody says except Brigham Young wasn't in on it,' I think in 10 to 25 years, there would be a new generation and everyone would have forgotten about it."

I'm not in the following stories, but they're cool anyway:

Healing process yet to begin for some
After 150 years, groups blamed and victimized in the Mountain Meadows Massacre have different feelings and views on what it will take to start the healing process.
The massacre took place on Sept. 11, 1857, when a wagon train from Arkansas going to California passed through Mountain Meadows, an area south of Enterprise on the Old Spanish Trail.
About 120 men, women and children were attacked and killed by the Iron County Militia made up of Latter-day Saint settlers and, according to some, Paiute Indians. Starting the healing process is different for those who had family members involved in the massacre. For the Paiutes, it means setting the history books straight and for the descendants of those in the wagon train, federal stewardship of the massacre site and apologies are welcome and needed.
Will Bagley, author of "Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows," said he doesn't feel that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will ever get past the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
As far as making steps toward healing, Bagley said he believes first, the LDS Church needs to step up and seek forgiveness from the Paiutes and the descendants, but said he is not optimistic that this will happen.
Bagley said he deeply sympathizes with families in Southern Utah who had ancestors used as what he described as scapegoats in the massacre.
Bagley places the most blame at the feet of church leadership.
Bagley said those in the militia group asked for guidance from church leader Brigham Young. Some accounts of the attack indicate that after a few days, the militia attacked the wagon train without waiting for word from Young - something Bagley discounts.
"The militia commander kills without waiting (for a reply). How credible is that story? Who would believe that for a second?" Bagley said. "The notion that the militia leaders attacked without waiting for an answer is silly and the institution (LDS Church leadership) needs to grow up and quit trying to blame those in Southern Utah. But they are so concerned about clearing the skirts of Brigham Young, they will sacrifice anyone else."
Phil Bolinger, president of the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation, said for the majority of the descendants from the wagon train that was attacked, one of the most important issues is to have the LDS Church turn over the graves and what land is required with the graves and allow federal control of the massacre site.
"The site is worthy of a national monument and that would take closure for us," Bolinger said. "Our mission has never changed and that goal is federal stewardship."
Bolinger said the MMMF mission statement and goal is to honor the relatives lost in the Meadows Massacre in the highest possible way, which is a national monument.
The MMMF has asked before and was denied by the church to turn over the land at the monument site to the Department of the Interior.
"We have a hard time with the fact that the graves are owned and controlled by the people who did the killing," Bolinger said. "That would be like Lee Harvey Oswald controlling the Kennedy graves."
In addition to releasing the graves to the people of America, Bolinger said the descendants would also like an apology from the LDS Church and said the Paiutes deserve an apology as well for being wrongfully accused for 150 years.
Glenn Rogers, chairman of the Shivwits band of Paiutes, said an apology from those who placed the blame on the Paiutes would be fine, but primarily, the Paiutes want to see the history books changed to show the Indians were not involved in the killings.
"We would like to see the history books put straight," Rogers said.
Rogers said growing up, his grandmother talked about the massacre and, according to the oral history he was told, four Paiutes were present but did not take part in the killings.
Rogers said an archeological dig at the grave site and exhuming bodies for studies could shed some light on what really happened and how the emigrants were killed.
"Who would have given Native Americans a rifle, let alone a knife?" Rogers asked. "They took everything away (from us) and that's just the way it was."
Rogers would like the truth to be told and those responsible for the massacre to be accountable.
But getting that and changing the history books to reflect the Paiutes role or non-role in the massacre is something Rogers isn't optimistic in seeing in his lifetime.
Various activities including a roundtable forum for the groups with ties to the massacre and a re-enactment of the crossing are scheduled over the next few days. The LDS Church isn't saying much about the massacre or steps it may take in the healing process and plans on keeping the massacre site under its control, according to Richard E. Turley Jr., managing director of the Family and Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"During the past two decades, descendants and other relatives of the emigrants and the perpetrators have at times worked together to memorialize the victims. These efforts have had the support of President Gordon B. Hinckley, officials of the state of Utah, and other institutions and individuals," Turley said. "Among the products of this cooperation have been the construction of two memorials at the massacre site and the placing of plaques commemorating the Arkansas emigrants."
Turley said the church will continue to maintain and preserve the site as a fitting memorial for the victims of the massacre in cooperation with the descendants.
Turley said that on Tuesday, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, by assignment of the First Presidency, will deliver remarks in the spirit of the occasion.

1 comment:

jeanius said...

wow. that is distressing.... i was lds, but have since become 'inactive'. i can't believe they just won't apologize. terrible. thanks for sharing this. :hugs: