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Contact: Kathryn Harrison, (580) 497-2742
On Sunday, May 24, 2015, at 2:00 p.m.. Washita Battlefield National Historic Site invites the public to start the summer by attending the first ranger talk of the season. In honor of the traditional start of summer, Park Ranger Barbara Ford will examine the burial practices and traditions of the United States Military and the Southern Cheyenne in hopes of better understanding how a culture is reflected in the way they chose to memorialize their dead.
Today, Memorial Day is the official beginning of summer but the holiday began in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, as a day to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Religion, practicality and tradition often determine funeral rites and memorials. However, every culture and civilization through time has found some way to care for and memorialize their dead whether it is mummification, burial in catacombs, scaffold burial or ramp ceremonies. Though macabre in nature, burial practices and customs are an important link to understanding the values and situations of a culture.
Summer programs at Washita Battlefield NHS will include weekly ranger talks and lectures from subject matter experts ranging from authors to archaeologists. Park Rangers will also be offering daily tours of the Washita Battlefield and talks at the overlook.
What: Remembering the Dead
When: Sunday, May 24, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
Where: Washita Battlefield National Historic Site Visitor Center
What: Washita Battlefield Book Club discussion meeting, Dances with Wolves
When: Thursday, May 28, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Elk City Carnegie Library