Tears Remembered

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Today, in the US, we are celebrating Columbus Day. To me, a conflict arises, as I think of the Indigenous People who were affected by this event. The arrival of white Europeans meant the beginning of the end of the lives of the Native American people. In North Carolina, the Cherokee people were force off their land and driven to the Oklahoma desert land to live. It became known as the Trail of Tears. Many died on the long march west. Some hid in the North Carolina mountains and a refused to leave. There is still a Cherokee presence in the Great Smokie Mountains.
When we visited Banner Elk a couple of years ago, we saw symbols of Indian heritage in the stone walls erected in the center of town. This was very interesting to me, since I read that there are numerous gated communities in the Banner Elk area. I would guess that very few, if any, of those residents are Cherokee.

Banner Elk stone walls
Remind us of tears shed
Fall brings bright colors

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone, at d’Verse asked us to write a poem for Haibun Monday using the word indigenous. I decided to take the viewpoint of the displaced Cherokee people who once lived in the NC mountains.

In 1977 participants at the United Nations International Conference on Discrimination against Indigenous Populations in the Americas proposed that Indigenous Peoples’ Day replace Columbus Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes that Native people are the first inhabitants of the Americas, including the lands that later became the United States of America. And it urges Americans to rethink history.  While Columbus day remains the Federal Holiday, many communities in the US celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

35 thoughts on “Tears Remembered

  1. How appropriate to re-name the Day as The Indigenous People’s Day.
    How sad that the races couldn’t live in harmony alongside each other.

    I have been for a few days up the Smoky mountains and was deeply affected by all I saw. The big museum high up that showed the Trail of Tears and also the lives of the Cherokee.
    There are gated communities and I had the honour of visiting a well preserved and developed one. Altogether an experience that lives strong within me.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Frank. It really is ironic that we celebrate Native American Heritage, but still want to keep our gated communities on their land! They are getting some payback by running Casinos on Indian land, that I don’t think is taxable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, My Friend! Thanks for shining a spotlight on this shameful stain on America’s soul!! This is the case where President Andrew Jackson stated “Marshall (Chief Justice of The Supreme Court) has made his decision, let him enforce it!!! Jackson’s defying the court is one of the reasons Trump admires him and has his portrait in the Oval office!!

    Liked by 1 person

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