Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Annual Trail of Tears Walk Commemorative

Without question, the scenery along the walk is breathtaking, and the air smells sweet of cool pine, honeysuckle blossoms, and the musky earth. Everyone knows everyone along the well-trodden path, where there are plenty of 'halitos' among friends, and 'kids, don't get off into the trees' comments from the mommas in the crowd.

This commemorative walk is three miles long... a far cry from the 500+ mile journey our ancestors walked from Mississippi and Alabama in the 1820s, to the new, and better land in the west.

I don't plan to comment on the historical Trail of Tears, Choctaw version, here. While there are still some elderly Choctaw who remember being told bitter stories of that forced march, I am not one of them. As you may know, I love Oklahoma and can't imagine living in central Mississippi being better than this.

And today, for this morning's recreation of the Trail of Tears, many of us did not make the 65-mile drive to Millerton, to park vehicles and walk 3 miles, no matter how much better 21st century life is over the 19th century.

Chief Pyle and Asst. Chief Batton were to be on hand, participating and politicking.

To me, this is the funny part; symbolic and ironic in a way: The instructions for participating call for parking your cars at the finish point (the Wheelock Academy), and taking a shuttle to the beginning point... where the Chief will address the crowd, 3 miles away.
Then the walk begins. Back to where you parked the cars.
And where the free lunch will be served.

All because of some politicians talking, at the beginning....
My point is, simply, you don't have to go to Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas, or to Golgotha to observe Easter, and you don't have to drive to Millerton, OK., to observe the Choctaw Trail of Tears experience. Unless you want a free ham and cheese sandwich and a bag of Lay's potato chips, a Coke and long-winded speechs.
It's a matter for the heart really, one which was observed right here on Highway 2.

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