Remembering Geronimo 100 years after his death

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SAN CARLOS, Ariz. – One might say the winding, rocky dirt road leading to the Geronimo Monument on the San Carlos Apache Reservation parallels two things: Geronimo’s life, and the events leading up to the commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of his death which ended with a congressional resolution honoring the Apache warrior.

In mid-February about 300 people, including tribal leaders and members of five Apache Nations from Arizona and New Mexico, gathered to remember a man known to the Chiricahua Apaches as Goyathlay and to the rest of the world as Geronimo. He died of pneumonia Feb. 17, 1909 while a prisoner of war in Ft. Sill, Okla.

The unveiling of a monument in his honor took place on a cold, cloudy day at Old San Carlos, next to San Carlos Lake, about 120 miles east of Phoenix. Witnesses to this historic event diverted off a paved road and drove several miles on a dirt road to take part in the ceremony, which included prayers, speeches, gifting, singing, dancing and feasting.


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