The Jonestown tragedy is approaching its 33rd year anniversary, and to this day I still don’t understand why it happened. It wasn’t just my immediate family that perished, it was about my extended family as well. We of Peoples Temple were family – one unto the other. Maybe one day – someday soon, I hope – someone will tell me why.
Oddly enough, I began writing my thoughts of the memorial service on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The USA Weekend insert in my local newspaper featured an article entitled, “Born on 9/11, 10 years later – Revisit children who represent hope and rebirth for a nation in mourning.” As I read it, I couldn’t help but wonder if spirits of our Peoples Temple children were being reborn as well.
During the dedication of the plaques listing all those who perished in Jonestown, my thoughts dwelled upon the possibility that this might bring some sense of closure for us all. I was pleased that the event was handled in positive and loving ways. I’m sure it brought fond memories of loved ones for all. For me, I will revisit the memorial from time to time in hopes of finding peace of mind and solace of heart.
I would like to express my admiration and appreciation to those who labored in love to make the memorial a success. It was a meaningful and loving experience. Thank you.
(Guy Young is a former member of Peoples Temple and a regular contributor to the jonestown report. He also spoke at the Jonestown memorial dedication in May. His poem last year was Many Springs Have Passed. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)