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Mountain Meadows massacre site landmark ceremony

At a ceremony on Sunday, September 11, 2011, Zion National Park superintendent Jock Whitworth will present plaques to mark the Mountain Meadows Massacre Historic Site in southern Utah as a National Historic Landmark. The plaque ceremony will take place at the lower monument in the Mountain Meadows, and the public is welcome.

On June 23 of this year, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar designated the Mountain Meadows Massacre Historic Site as a National Historic Landmark, recognizing the site as playing an integral role in the development of the country.

The landmark designation marks the culmination of a multiyear effort on the part of the Mountain Meadows Association, the Mountain Meadows Massacre Descendants, the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation, and the landowners-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the U.S. Forest Service-to seek National Historic Landmark status for the site. Representatives of all these groups will address the public at the plaque ceremony. Superintendent Whitworth will represent Secretary Salazar in presenting the plaques to the landowners.

The Mountain Meadows Massacre Historic Site is the location where Mormon militiamen massacred some 120 California-bound emigrants, mostly from Arkansas, during the week of September 11, 1857. The massacre is considered one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the American West.

The plaque ceremony, which is expected to last one hour, will take place at 11:00 a.m. on September 11. Parking is limited, and those wishing to attend should arrive an hour early to find parking and be seated before the ceremony begins. The Mountain Meadows Massacre Historic Site is located just west of highway 18 between St. George and Enterprise, Utah.