Mountain Meadows Massacre – September 11, 1857 – 164 years ago
9/11 – September 11, 2001 – 20 years ago
Both events were tragic.
Both events were senseless.
Both events should not have happened.
One event was led by fellow Americans.
One event was led by foreigners.
Lives were lost.
Both events should be remembered.
One event is an integral part of my family’s history.
One event is an integral part of our country’s history.
Both should have NEVER happened.
9/11/1857 – “On September 11, 1857, some 50 to 60 local militiamen in southern Utah, aided by American Indian allies, massacred about 120 emigrants who were traveling by wagon to California. The horrific crime, which spared only 17 children age six and under, occurred in a highland valley called the Mountain Meadows, roughly 35 miles southwest of Cedar City. The victims, most of them from Arkansas, were on their way to California with dreams of a bright future.” Source: https://mountainmeadowsmassacre.com/what-is-the-mountain-meadows-massacre
9/11/2001 – “September 11 attacks, also called 9/11 attacks, series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed in 2001 by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda against targets in the United States, the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in U.S. history. The attacks against New York City and Washington, D.C., caused extensive death and destruction and triggered an enormous U.S. effort to combat terrorism. Some 2,750 people were killed in New York, 184 at the Pentagon, and 40 in Pennsylvania (where one of the hijacked planes crashed after the passengers attempted to retake the plane); all 19 terrorists died (see Researcher’s Note: September 11 attacks). Police and fire departments in New York were especially hard-hit: hundreds had rushed to the scene of the attacks, and more than 400 police officers and firefighters were killed.” Source: https://www.britannica.com/event/September-11-attacks
On June 25, 2021, Mike and I visited the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Emotions swept over me and I cried. I had no idea how this sacred place for our family would affect me. It hit me like a brick. The gravity of what happened that day and how it affected my family weighed heavy on my heart. Tears flowed. As we walked around the meadow, peaceful at the moment, the thoughts of what happened all those years ago flooded our minds. There was no peace that day. Just horror.
“The Baker/Fancher Wagon Train consisted of more than 150 men, women and children. Only 17 survived, all under the age of 7. The Mormons believed that children became “adult” at the age of 8. It is speculated that they wanted no “adult” survivors who could give credible testimony to the heinous crimes committed.” states https://mtnmeadowsmassacredescendants.com/in-memoriam/the-survivors/.
My great-great grandmother, Martha Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Baker, age 5 was one of the 17 survivors. Our family verse is Romans 8.28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” As I entered the memorial site, the word ALL in this verse really came to life.
I am here today because Betty survived.
In November of 2015, Mike and I visited New York City for me to run the NYC Marathon. We toured the city the days before the run. We visited the 9/11 Memorial site. The emotions were strong that day too. Thinking of the many lives lost during the horrific tragedy. The lives that forever changed.
These two events changed lives. These two events make you ponder the ‘why?’ of it all.
Evil is very present in our world. Bad things happen, very bad. Lives are changed. But, God is good. He uses all things to bring about His purposes. We may not and will not truly understand – ever understand.
Trusting in His purposes and His character…knowing He is the victor. We are fighting through these evil days from VICTORY. What comfort that gives me.
Again, both events were senseless…both events were tragic…both were life altering.
But, today is a day to remember and to trust, as is every 9/11.
Today is a day to honor those who are here thanks to the bravery of others.
Today is a day to be thankful for the beauty that has come from the ashes.
Today is a day to remember God is good and in ALL things He will work things out for those who love Him and are called according to HIS PURPOSE.
Thankful today for the emotions and for the opportunity to live and remember.