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February 20th, 2009
04:18 PM ET

Geronimo!

Jami Floyd
CNN In Session


This week marks the 100th anniversary of Geronimo’s death. Now, the Apache warrior’s descendants are suing to recover his remains.

Geronimo was born and wanted to be buried in New Mexico. But he died a prisoner of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1909. According to legend, Prescott Bush, father of former president George Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush, broke into the grave and made off with the skull, two bones, spurs and some other items personal to Geronimo. Skull and Bones, of course, is the name of Yale University’s infamous secret society (Yale does not officially recognize the group, it is important to note). According to legend, Skull and Bones still have the remains.

Whether this is true or not, Geronimo’s heirs have a right to know; and they have a right to the dignified memory of their ancestor. The disrespect demonstrated by Skull and Bones is disgraceful and completely out of place in the modern context of diversity and change.


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Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Josh Stephenson

    I am a student at the US Army Command and General Staff College, native New Mexican, and have twice been stationed at Fort Sill, OK where Geronimo is buried. His grave is dignified, respectful, and an enduring reminder of our nation’s 232 year struggle to balance freedom for the majority and protection of the minority. Although I believe it is true that our policies dealing with Native American leaders, land and location from our independence through the late 19th century left much to be desired, I find it especially hard for one generation to make amends for the actions of another. Additionally, the “legend” of the grave’s defamation is hearsay and I am disappointed in my fellow citizens’ speed to judgment without knowing the facts. In my opion, as a nation, we are now too quick to blame someone else rather than take personal responsibility for our own actions (or lack of action). I’d like to know what Geronimo himself would say about the blame game we are playing and importance of responsibility to one’s self, family, and country. The actual issue is rightful possession Geronimo’s remains. Let his heirs reinter Geronimo at the place of their choosing, although I’d be sad to see him forcibly moved one more without his consent. Regardless of any decision made by the court or his family, Geronimo’s legacy belongs to every American no matter where his final resting place may be.

    The views expressed are those of the author’s and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US government.

    Sincerely,
    Josh Stephenson
    Captain, US Army

    February 22, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  2. anthony carter

    anderson will you ask the utilities companies to put a freeze on their rates.our raises are getting put on hold ,yet there are increases in utilities.we're at a pay freeze,but our services are steadily going up.i went from paying 185 for electricity to 419 .that's on the budget plan in nj.my house is electric only.we received a bill last oct .telling us we had a balance do of 2000 at the beginning of the year.it screwwd us up as a new homeowners budget.i think if everyone else is in a freeeze ,so should they be in one.check hem out also their ceo's are making a serious killing.they know the world needs tehse resources.please ask those corps like jcp&l that question.thanks anthony carter,browns mills,nj 08015

    February 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  3. KIm

    The memory rides with you historically and his victory rests in peace ! Let's work a national holiday and all yell Geronimo through an economic crisis with spirited fight !

    February 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  4. Inez Hawkins

    I haven't heard anything about help for seniors. Can someone address this Thanks

    February 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  5. ARTBUFF

    i think they should, immediately, return the skull, why would they want to takE it in the first place

    February 21, 2009 at 6:22 am |
  6. Zyworski

    It doesn't matter whether it was Johnny Reb, Jerry, Victor Charlie, or Red coat, any who stand and fight for their cause have earned my respect. If this story is true it is a stain upon the Bush family name, and brands the Skull and Crossbones as just a bunch of punks.

    February 21, 2009 at 3:18 am |
  7. nadine

    Wow, President Bush comes from a grave robbing family. They are so without souls that they can't even let this poor man (Geronimo) rest in peace. I thought they were supposed to be Christians. As for this Skull and Bones society at Yale, shame on you too if you do exist, I pray that you don't. The Native Americans were disrespected in the forming of America once already, do you really need to disrespect them in death as well. Shame on you Bush family and Yale society. May the Great Spirit bless your soul Geronimo and help you find the peace and rest you truly deserve.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:28 am |
  8. Patrick Feenan, from Belfast, Ireland.

    Yes, GF from Los Angeles, and I have a book that shows a photograph of G. H. Bush standing outside the Texas Book Depository on November the 22nd, 1963, on the day JFK was shot by firing squad. What was he doing there? Your guess would be as good as mine, AHEM!

    February 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm |
  9. Wardell katrina Survivor

    You see, this is what I'm talking about, evil, hateful,people come from across the waters, commit some of the most God forsaken crimes known to mankind, and THIS great society, pretends as though nothing is wrong with it. SCULLS and BONES, should be disbanded not given refuge, at a so-called ivyleague university,and promoted to the highest positions in the land, there issomething very hypocritical about this, Our NATIVE-AMERICANS, deserve much, much, more RESPECT. WAKE UP AMERICA, look in the mirror, do you see the ugly face, staring back at you, if you don't it's because you turned your back. GOD, HELP US.God bless ALL of you. Let's find out the TRUTH,the Bushes,sure won't tell it. I liked GERONIMO, the LITTLE man was more of an AMERICAN HERO, than ALL of the sKulls and bONES, regardless of WHO, they might be.

    February 20, 2009 at 8:24 pm |
  10. Isabel, Brazil

    A story of life too interesting to Geronimo!
    I don't knew, but after searching, I liked a lot!

    Bush family is a karma to America!

    February 20, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  11. earle,florida

    Ah yes, the man whose fatrher shot down "McCarthism",the dasterly communist outer! Now, his proud son #41 the man who started ,The New World Order",...kinda makes you wonder? But wait,let's fast foward too Bush#43 who ironically bankrupts america single-handedly,w'oh nellie !

    February 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  12. Carol B.

    I Meant to say "you're" even though it only probably matters to me. 🙂

    February 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  13. Carol B.

    Hey Jami, No bones about it, your right, girl! These are his family and ancestors and whether it's via DNA tests or not, they deserve to give him a dignified burial. As for the Scull & Bones Club isn't is really a Spanky & Our Gang version of the He-man Women Hater's Club? Really, it's just a "mysterious" networking club to place the guys in highest positions in Govt or business. Am I wrong?

    February 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  14. GF, Los Angeles

    Wow the Bush family sure seems to have a hand in everything.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  15. Annie Kate

    His bones if they can be identified and recovered need to be returned to his family with society's apology. This situation is disgraceful but so very typical of our treatment of our native Americans.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm |