My name is Donald Beck. I was in Peoples Temple, but still working in Ukiah in November of 1978. I lost many friends as well a my son Danny who was in Guyana then.
Now I am retired and live most of the year in Ireland. I have flown in 5000 miles specifically to attend the gathering scheduled at Evergreen Sunday May 29. Though my son is not among those buried at Evergreen, having been in Peoples Temple for ten years and the head of Junior choir, I have appreciated having Evergreen as a place where I feel I can appropriately remember, cherish and honor all the people — children and adults — in our Peoples Temple community.
Because of that I find it absolutely appropriate to honor ALL who died then — to honor the effort to make change and build a rainbow community. I am not honoring the horrific ending of November 18, 1978, but remembering the many years of what we as a community were striving for.
For those who now choose not to honor that memory of a loving community preferring to dwell and serving only the horror of that day, let them make their own sense of it as they may — but leave myself and others the right to cherish our community as we see appropriate.
Thank you for your help in finally making real a dedication to all those who died in Guyana.
Peace to you.