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Descendants of Quanah Parker Work to Preserve His Legacy

FORT SILL, Okla_Descendants, friends and historians gathered to keep a legacy alive. The legacy of Quanah Parker. For the 64th year, descendants of Quanah Parker held a family reunion.

Festivities kicked off Friday in Cache with a tour of Quanah's Star House, but Saturday things took on a more somber tone.

Gathered at his resting place in Fort Sill National Cemetery, the family reflected on the importance of Quanah Parker's sacrifices and honored his legacy with a traditional Comanche cedar burning ceremony.

Representatives from Fort Sill were on hand to pay their respects to the Chief who walked the grounds of their post long before them.

The sound of Quanah Parker's memorial song beat in the hearts and ears of the generations of descendants that survive him.

They assembled on Fort Sill at the resting place of Quanah, his mother Cynthia Ann and sister Prairie Flower for the 64th year to pay tribute to their family and a national icon.

"It's a sinking in your heart knowing that your loved ones are gone. But it's also a great feeling knowing that they're still up there watching down over us which we know they are, " said Paul Davis, the adopted grandson of Quanah Parker.

 Davis said although the Parker blood doesn't run through his veins, he found himself in their history and feels an obligation to keeping Quanah's legacy alive.

"My heart swell up so bad I don't know how I can even stand it. It's just such an honor to me. I have Comanche blood, but I was not a Parker. Getting connected to this Parker family is probably the best thing that ever happened in my life, " Davis said.

Chief's Knoll is the area in the cemetery where Quanah, Cynthia Ann and Prairie Flower Parker are laid to rest. It wasn't Quanah's first resting place but because of it's importance and significance it's where the family has fought to make sure their ancestors remain.

"Chief's Knoll is often referred to as the Indian Arlington. It is a place of great honor. It is in a cemetery that is sacred. Chief's Knoll is the high point in this cemetery. In Comanche high point means power, " said historian Towana Spivey.

 And that's exactly what Quanah's legacy is: powerful.

Historian Towana Spivey knows the Parker history better than almost anyone, and he knows his struggle so many years ago made a lasting impact on us today.

"His struggles that he had growing up among the Comanches and then having to adapt to the white world as they over took the Comanche culture. And having to find ways to survive, ways to maintain his people so they would survive, and do so with dignity, " Spivey said.

Quanah's story is unique but is representative of us all.

And that's what makes Paul Davis so proud to honor his great grand father year, after year.

"His legacy I think should live on in all of us. We're all different colors in this world today, but we all need to bond together and live together. I think that's what he'd want us to do if he were here today, " Davis said.

The weekend closed out Saturday night with a Pow-Wow and dinner at the Cache Multipurpose Building.

Over 100 descendants of Parker's were in attendance.

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