JONESTOWN SURVIVOR WRITES: 37th ANNIVERSARY OF JONESTOWN

JONESTOWN SURVIVOR WRITES: THE 37TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATHS IN JONESTOWN AND GUYANA
Today, a group of survivors, family members and mostly intimate friends gathered in Oakland. Some of us who plan to return to Jonestown with a documentary crew met first, and had lunch.

Later, we gathered at the Evergreen Cemetery to spend some time honoring and remembering our loved ones. This year, Jordan, Patrick, Kathy, Vera, Yulanda, Jim R., Garry, Robert (Agnes’ son) and his son, Johnny, Doxsee, and I were joined by the film crew, Melissa, Ken and their camera man, Richmond, Michael, and several interested friends who have studied Peoples Temple, Steven Larrabee, and Mark Gallaga and his son. We gathered at around 3, and then formed a group about 3:30. We introduced ourselves and said a few words. Yulanda sang a wonderful song that brought us to tears, and Garry read some of his treasured poetry. We spent some quiet time afterwards. As we moved out, Stephan came with his own lovely flowers.

And lastly, some of us moved on to have dinner together.

Our friendships have lasted over the past thirty-seven PLUS years. It has been 37 years since the deaths of our loved ones, but many of us were in Peoples Temple for years before we even went to Guyana. Since I joined in 1970, I have known many of these friends for forty-five years. That is an enduring friendship. And we gather because those friendships are important, and because the memories we share bind us together.

We missed those of you from around the globe who were not physically present, but who were in our hearts. And, we missed our loved ones who were in our thoughts today.

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