Trail of Tears walk set Sept. 26

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September is American Indian Heritage Month in Tennessee you are invited to walk these steps where the Trail of Tears once was walked along the "Northern Trail" through Woodbury.

Walk starts from the gazebo beside the Cannon County Court House on Waters St., gather at 6:30 PM Walk in commemoration to First United Methodist Church of Woodbury where the "aib" documentary film will be shown "The Trail of Tears" at 7:00 PM. You are invited to be a part of remembering this time in history and taking the steps of reconciliation, building a "new relationship" with the Native American Community. Refreshments will be served. Guest speakers and memorial regarding these past 175 years will be after the "Trail of Tears". The commemorative walk and memorial recognizes the suffering of forced Indian removal of the Five Civilized Tribes from the Southeast, (Muscogee "Creek", Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole) all tribes who walked their "Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma Indian Territory after the 1830 Indian Removal Act was enacted by President Andrew Jackson. Remember our history.

Commemorative "Trail of Tears" Walk
"Where We Walked and Where We Cried"
The commemorative walk recognizes the hardships suffered by the Five Civilized Tribes who were removed from the Southeast; the Cherokee, the Muscogee "Creek", the Chickasaw, the Choctaw, and the Seminole. These were tribes of the southeast who were forced to remove to Oklahoma Indian Territory after the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The forced removal became known as the "Trail of Tears", and is one of the darkest periods in the history in the United States of America.

Each of the Five Civilized Tribes was deeply impacted by their forced removal to Oklahoma Indian Territory. Each tribe had their stories of betrayal, death and despair along the routes to lands west of the Mississippi River. Nearly 46,000 people suffered intense hardships in the removal. It has been said that no one over the age of 60 or under the age of 5 lived this terrible "walk where we cried".

The lands of the southeast U.S. was the home of ancient peoples who lived for thousands of years on the land. Many Sacred Places still stand as witness to the people who once lived on the land. The bones of ancestors were left behind with no one to care for the burial places. Tribal towns with its histories and culture were also left behind. Even the very plant used in medicines and culture ceremonial life of the people was left behind. Nearly 25 million acres of land was succeeded in the southeast through the U.S. Indian Removal Act enforced by President Andrew Jackson. The "Trail of Tears" combined water, Northern, Bell, and Benge routes through one-third of the state of Tennessee, which includes 39 counties. The Cherokee, the Muscogee "Creek", and the Chickasaw were removed by force from Tennessee to lands west of the Mississippi.

Today how can we be reconciled this tragic history? How can we come together as people from different cultures and renew the broken relationships of the past? Every year on the last Friday and Saturday of the month in September a Commemorative "Trail of Tears" Walk and Memorial is held in Wilson and Cannon County. The walk is just one step in healing and reconciliation of the tragic past. The memorial brings remembrance of those who walked and those who died along the many "Trail of Tears" that cross our country. This is an opportunity for all peoples to come together in remembering and in fellowship. This could be that "reconciliation" between two cultures that ended in a removal of a whole race of people. We pray the blessings on all people and on coming together to make true reconciliation happen.

In Kings 20:5-6 declares: "This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you."

Revelation 22:2 And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of nations."
You are invited to walk those steps of healing.

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