This is a Interesting and touching quote from a decedent of the Fancher party. (Mountain meadows massacre). This is from the IMDB forum on Setember Dawn the new movie about the Mountain meadows massacre.
Catherine Baker wrote:
My name is Catherine Baker. Captain John T. Baker was my grandfather's, Peter P. Baker 1879 - 1970, great-uncle. This wagon train was not the first trip west made by either, Captain John Baker, nor Alexander Fancher. John Baker had made previous trips to California for the purpose of herding cattle to sell. The members of this materially rich wagon train were headed to California to make it their permanent homes. I speak only for myself when I state that I attended the memorial services in Cedar City, UT in 1990 by invitation of President Hinkley. I was touched by President Hinkley's message of forgiveness and reconciliation when he acknowledged the Mormon Church's participation in the Massacre and simultaneously absolved the Piute Indian Nation. I remember too, following the speech of President Hinkley, a beautiful prayer given by a Piute Chief in his native language. I didn't understand the words, but my heart understood the melodic blessings. I regret being unable to recall his name. At the time, the descendents of the Massacre did not question President Hinkley's edict that no cameras, recorders etc would be allowed at the memorial (attended by hundreds), nor did we object to the Mormon members searching our pockets and handbags before we entered the roofed stadium. President Hinkley announced at the beginning of the ceremonies that "the Church" would be recording the ceremony on video and we could "obtain copies" at a later date. Ironically, none of the descendants have ever been able to "obtain" that video. I had always considered the delays a matter of massive-church-red-tape; until . . . Mr. Hinkley, current President of the Church of Latter-Day-Saints, stated at a public re-dedication ceremony at Mountain Meadows in 1999, "My presence here today is in no way an acknowledgement of the church's participation in what happened her in 1857." My family attended the memorial that was held in Cedar City in 1990. I'll never forget sitting in the front row of the "descendents," between my 85 year old uncle and my 81 year old father. One of the most touching moments was when President Hinkley spoke and said the Mormon church was "taking responsibility" for what happened that day. (My grandfather required all of us kids to read Juanita Brooks, "Mountain Meadows Massacre" when we reached the age of 13. Even as recent as the 1960s and 1970s, there were still some Mormons who insisted the Church was not involved; but instead, it was the Piutes. So, when President Hinkley made that statement we truly trusted and believed the sincerity of the extended hand of attempted resolution and forgiveness. President Hinkley, at one point, asked the Morman members sitting in the stands (surrounding the descendents sitting in chairs on the stadium floor) that if they were related to, or knew someone directly involved in the massacre to please stand. I'm guess-ti-mating that 60-75% of the people stood. It was a very powerful moment. I (and we) felt the enormity of feeling coming from those who stood and in so doing, we felt, took responsibility for the actions of their ancestors - something they, personally, did not do or condone stood in a way for us and extended their hearts to us. (A humorous aside: my 86 year old uncle always uncomfortable in emotional moments turned to me and whispered as the thousands of Morman church members stood, "look how many of them there are - wonder if they just brought us here to finish us off?") Now, sadly, it wasn't that long ago, I read the speech given by president Hinkley on the occassion of the 1999 memorial and he said, "my presence here is in no way an admission of our participation" in the event that took place here in 1857. For me all that feeling of healing dissipated in the words of one, short sentence. In 1990, after the formal ceremonies in Cedar City, everyone drove to Mountain Meadow for the dedication. Most everyone had nametags on, so it was easy to identify who was who and which side of the 50-yard line they stood. I didn't feel anger, but instead, I felt an immense sadness because of the number of Mormons who approached me to talk. Over and over I heard those words, "we understand" or "I understand" why they did what they did. They would tell me that our family had called them names, insulted them, poisoned their water, killed their farm animals etc. etc. In truth, several times, my face turned red with rage and frustration because I truly believe those folks did not hear what they were saying. To my ears, they were excusing, or at the very least "understanding" those murderous actions. In an nutshell, it is what I was told by my grandfather, whose father was a brother to Captain Jack Baker... he required in-depth reading of Mountain Meadow and in-depth discussion after we read it. He tried to teach us this "I do not want you to look upon these deaths and feel that your feelings of revenge or hate is justified. It is not. I want you to look upon this event as a repetition of man's inhumanity to man. We all have that potential to be evil and it is a choice we make. Look back through history and know 'the evil of men live after them and the good oft interred with their bones' . . . over and over again in history - the Egyptians enslaving the Jews, the Christians burning the 'heretics' at the stake, the Germans killing the Jewish people, the Americans enslaving the Blacks, the Irish Protestants and the Catholics killing each other for centuries, Henry VIII killing all the priests, nuns and Catholic people in his realm and then his daughter comes to power and kills all of Henry's people who converted along with him. Over and over and over and over for thousands of years and we still continue to choose evil." catherine baker