November 18, 2008 will be the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre. Dr. Jynona Norwood, lost family members that day and has been working toward the construction of a permanent memorial to the children that were murdered. Here is her story:
My name is Jynona Norwood, CEO of Cherishing the Children/Guyana Tribute Foundation. I am writing you today regarding the 913 American citizens who perished in the Jonestown Massacre. Although, I was never a member of Peoples Temple, we lost 27 family members in the Jonestown Massacre and 17 were youths. Among them were my loving mother, Fairy Norwood and a 3-month-old cousin, Charles Henderson, Jr. I rescued/kidnapped, my son from my family as they were raising him while I traveled and preached as an evangelist. These loving people were the kindest and bravest most selfless people you would have ever wanted to meet. Our loved ones were deceived! They were held in captivity by Jim Jones and we now need your help in remembering them.
We need your support and presence to erect the Cherishing the Children Healing Memorial Wall in memory of the 276 children, their families, Congressman Leo Ryan and the UPI news crew who perished in this incredible act of violence. The survivors and surviving families of Jonestown have resolved, with the public's help, to erect this memorial. The monument will be placed in the Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, California where 406 bodies lay in a mass grave who are mostly children. In the spirit of those who honored the tragic passing of their loved ones in events such as the Jewish Holocaust, the Columbine shooting, the Vietnam War and most recently, the tragedy of 9/11, we envision the erection of this wall in memorial to the Jonestown Massacre. The children in the photographs at the top of this letter perished in Jonestown without a fighting chance and we must say "Never again........gone but not forgotten."
We are not a part of any other groups who are collecting monies for any type of memorial in the name of the Jonestown victims. The staff remains vigilant in their efforts to erect the wall, which will have a three-fold purpose: To honor the sanctity of the innocent lives that were lost; to raise public awareness that you never give up your ability to think for yourself; and to question everyone and everything!
I implore you by making two requests:
1) To help us erect this Historical Memorial Wall by making a donation.
2) Contact your friends, business owners, corporations to make a donation of granite, inscribers or a contribution. We are 501(c)3 tax-deductible.
A percentage of the funds will be donated to students in building their future by giving scholarships to college or technical school. Jacque Behar is our scholarship director. You can send all donations to: KAIPERM (FCU) 2101 BROADWAY ST., OAKLAND, CA. 94612 attn: SHARON or you can send all letters with your sentiments about the victims with or without your donation to DR. NORWOOD, PO BOX 3330, HOLLYWOOD, CA. 90078.
Check out Dr. Norwood's website and give a donation. Let's get this done before the 30th anniversary is history.