As a kid, when cannon-balling into a swimming pool, how many times did you yell “Geronimo!!!”?
I didn’t realize what this war-cry referenced or even meant until I came to Fort Sill. Here are some facts about this Apache Indian chief.
- Geronimo is buried at Fort Sill in one of the Apache Prisoner-of-War Cemeteries.
- Before his death in 1909, Geronimo (and other Apaches of the Chiricahua, Warm Springs, and Nedni tribes) was brought to Fort Sill as a prisoner-of-war, and lived here in one of 12 villages until his death. Many of the Apache’s leading men served as soldiers and U.S. scouts. They built their own houses, erected fences around the entire military preserve, and dug water tanks (some of which you can still see today). These POW’s were granted freedom by the Act of Congress in 1913; the majority of people returned to their native home of New Mexico while some decided to stay in Oklahoma and settled on nearby farms.
- Geronimo’s grave is part of a memorial created to recognize the Apache’s historical past, their industry, and perseverance towards a new way of life.
“[H]is courage and determination did more than provide a battle cry for paratroopers of another day..”
Top image credit: The American Show
Bottom image credit: Jet Set With Mary