"This place is full of Indians!" said one of them on Thanksgiving morning at the Comfort Inn in Limon, base camp for the Sand Creek Healing Run. From there, the caravan headed south past Hugo, through Cheyenne County -- which just voted to secede from Colorado -- and on to Eads, for a quick stop at the rest area filled with Christmas decorations and signs discussing the Sand Creek Massacre site, where over 150 members of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes were slaughtered in their peaceful camp on November 29, 1864.
This is the fifteenth annual healing run, a time to remember the past and plan for the future. Next year is the 150th anniversary of the massacre, and the organizers of the run have big plans for 2014.
But right now, they have many more miles to run. Yesterday, dozens of runners -- many of them young members of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes, as well as representatives of other tribes across the West -- traveled from Eads through the abandoned town of Chivington, named for Colonel John Chivington, the Methodist minister who led the troops on that dawn raid, up to what is now the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (the only federal site dedicated to a massacre) for prayers and ceremonies. From there, the first leg of the run wound through the plains to the Kiowa County Fairgrounds for a dinner hosted by the National Parks Service.Today, they runners will head to Denver, following the route that the troops that slaughtered their ancestors took to Denver 149 years ago.
And tomorrow, they will be in Denver for more ceremonies. They will start at 8 a.m. at Riverside Cemetery, where Captain Silas Soule -- who refused to fire on the natives camped peacefully at Sand Creek -- is buried, then wind up at the Capitol. And the events are open to all; here's the schedule:
Sand Creek Healing Run Saturday November 30th 8:00 AM Honoring Ceremony Riverside Cemetery, 5201 Brighton Boulevard, Denver Captain Silas Soule, Company D 1st Colorado Calvary, U.S. Army and Lieutenant Joseph A. Cramer, Company K 8th Ohio Calvary, U.S. Army
9:00 AM Continue 'Healing Run' from Riverside Cemetery to the Colorado State Capitol Building, 4 mile distance - MUST REGISTER TO RUN
10:00 AM At 15th and Arapahoe -- near the site where Soule was assassinated--the runners will join with walkers and continue to the State Capitol Building ALL PARTICIPANTS WALK THE LAST 1-MILE
11:00 AM Presentation at the Colorado State Capitol Building (West side)
7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil at the Denver Art Museum Wheel sculpture, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver
Find more details on the Sand Creek Healing Run Facebook page.
More from the Calhoun: Wake Up Call archive: "A century and a half later, the wounds of Sand Creek are still fresh."
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