(KCPW News) This Sunday not only marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, but also 154 years since the Mountain Meadows Massacre in southern Utah. Lysa Wegman-French, a historian with the National Park Service, says to commemorate what happened there, the site will be designated as a National Historic Landmark.
“The Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, designated the site a National Historic Landmark in June, and on September 11th, people will be gathering to recognize that designation,” she explains.
Bronze plaques will be given to the two owners of the site, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the U.S. Forest Service to recognize the commemoration.
Wegman-French says the landmark designation will serve as closure for many victims’ descendants, who have been advocating for some sort of symbol there for many years.
“National Historic Landmark designation is the highest level of recognition that the executive branch of the federal government can bestow upon a property that recognizes the importance of the historic event in the history of the United States,” she says.
About 120 emigrants died in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The group was part of a wagon train traveling from Arkansas to California, and was killed by a Mormon militia. Whether Paiute Indians were also involved in the attack is in dispute.