In The News

City leaders and students gather to bless site of monument honoring city founder

by Jessamy Brown | Jun 07, 2013


FORT WORTH — School children, community leaders and Native American representatives gathered to honor the area’s original residents on Thursday, the anniversary of the arrival of Maj. Ripley Arnold to establish a military post that would later become Fort Worth.

That was 164 years ago, on June 6, 1849. And a year from now, officials expect to dedicate a 12-foot bronze sculpture of Arnold in the planned John V. McMillan Plaza at the confluence of the Trinity River’s Clear Fork and West Fork below the bluff where the Army post was established.

“We are a part of the smaller chapter of the story of the American West, said Ben Tahmahkera, a Comanche. “It is my prayer that all the people, especially the children with us today, will learn to live in peace with all the people.”

To prepare for the construction, the Trinity River Vision Authority, which manages the plaza, hosted a ground blessing for the statue.

The ceremony was based on the concept of the Native American medicine wheel, or sacred hoop. Apache spiritual leader Eddie Sandoval walked around the circle and used smoke to bless the four directions —north, south, east and west.

Later, 175 children from two Fort Worth schools joined the Oklahoma-based Sovo Family Drummers and Dancers in a round dance, slowly stepping side to side as they made their way around the circle.

Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326 Twitter: @jessamybrow