Lattimer Massacre Memorial Dedication, September 10, 1972

In the last post we reported on the Lattimer Massacre Mass we witnessed on the 10 of September, 2014. In a past post we also wrote about the long path to assembling a monument to the event, a process which began nearly a year after the massacre occurred. It was not until 1972 that a monument was dedicated with a major celebration. Scholars, activists, politicians and working men and women were all present at the event. Among them, Cesar Chavez, Edward Pinkowski, Harold Aurand, and Congressman Dan Flood were all present. The Lattimer Band, which was composed mostly of Pardeesville residents and directed by Reverend Ferrara, played the national anthem. It sounds like it was a momentous day. Here is a moving recollection by United Farm Worker’s organizer Ernie Powell of his experience driving Cesar Chavez up to Pennsylvania for the event in 1972 and of the visit by Congressman Flood, who arrived by helicopter to the site.   Below are pages from the event brochure. We are in the process of hunting down the text from Cesar Chavez’s speech. As far as we know it was not filmed.

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Lattimer Massacre Memorial Service, September 10, 2014

On September 10, 2014 a memorial service was held at the Remembrance Rock at the corner of Lattimer and Quality Roads in Lattimer.

The service was…. intense. Opening the event was a historical narrative provided by Bill Bachman of Penn State University, Wilkes Barre. The mass was conducted by an interfaith group of religious leaders who co-wrote and presented an emotional responsorial which focused on healing in the present.

One: Shots suddenly rang out

All: We have come here today to remember the stark reality
of shots fired that caused injury, death and destruction that day,
and down through the years.

One: We can stand here today and hear the echoes of these
shots. the righteous anger of the victims and their
families, as well as the communities in which they
lived and served.

All: We have come to remember nineteen unarmed miners
shot dead that day.
One: Remembrance begins with deep, personal identification.
It begins with remembering the affliction of our
brothers and sisters, and marking their pain as our
own. Remembrance is a sacred moment when we raise
up and hold to the light of the eternal moment, the good
who have died.

….

One: For the conflagration of bullets and nightmare images
forever seared into our corporate memory…
All: we lift up the ashes of our pain, 0 Breathing Spirit of the
World.

In conclusion, the service ended with a prayer asking that all the communities affected by the massacre be blessed “so that blaming the immigrants, like slavery before it, may become for us only a shameful historic memory”. That sent chills down my spine.

The memorial service was sponsored by the following organizations:

St. James Episcopal Church
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
Trinity Lutheran West Hazleton
Queen of Heaven Parish
Beth Israel Temple
Agudas Israel Synagogue
Christ Lutheran Church
Iglesia Buenas Nuevas
Faith United Church of Christ
Immaculate Conception
St, John’s Lutheran Church
Lattimer United Methodist
Hazleton One Community Center

Lattimer Massacre Memorial Mass to be held, Sept. 10, 2014

Remembrance Rock 2

117 years ago this Wednesday, 19 men were shot by a company sponsored posse in the Lattimer Massacre. This Wednesday, September 10, 2014 starting at 6:30 PM a memorial mass will be held at the monument at the corner of Quality and Lattimer roads. The Lattimer Massacre Project will be in attendance documenting the event. See you there!