Cherokees honor and remember victims of last month's I-40 bridge accident

Friday, June 28th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Families and new found friends gathered Friday to remember the 14 people who died when the I-40 bridge collapsed into the Arkansas River.

The Cherokee Nation owns the land around that part of the river and wanted to honor the victims with a special comfort ceremony. The children's choir sang a song brought along the trail of tears to comfort their ancestors. They dedicated a tree to grow in remembrance of the people who died.

And the tribe had a special presentation for one woman whose son, daughter-in-law and three-year-old granddaughter died when their car went into the Arkansas River, a baby blanket with the Cherokee Nation Seal on it. Juanita Johnson said she had to attend the memorial for closure. "Hardest thing I've ever done, but I wanted to come and I think this is wonderful for what they've done for us."

The Cherokee Children's choir also performed their comfort song at Ground Zero after September 11th.