Last Call for Geronimo
He is perhaps the most famous native Arizonan. 30 years after he died in 1909, A regiment of army men were first learning to parachute from airplanes. Practice of these jumps was very intense and dangerous. The tactic was never used before to get men to the ground in World War ll. These men were the first army paratroopers. The practice jumps would put fear into some of the toughest soldiers. On one practice jump, a paratrooper, after having seen the movie the night before shouted the Apache warriors name "GERONIMO!" to show he had no fear. Geronimo was depicted to have no fear in real life and in the movies.
The call became a household cry from kids jumping off diving boards into pools, scouts flying through the air over a body of water and dropping into the water. Zip lines from tree to tree, Skiers getting air, rapellers dropping off cliffs etc. All around the world people shout GERONIMO when they jump out of airplanes. Even throwing a rock or package from a high place to a low place renders the call. This great Apache icon is more famous because of this call than he ever would be otherwise.
This man was truly a renegade Apache Indian. He was able to single handedly keep the Mexicans out of his territory and the U.S. Troops of 5,000 could not capture or locate the Apache band of 58. He was the last fighting leader to protect, by war, his claim to the Great Southwest. He was looked at as a blood thirsty savage.
The Mexicans named Him. No one is sure why. His real name was Goyaale. Goyaale would avoid storms of bullets raining on him and kill every man in his way with knives and spears. He was seeking revenge against the Mexicans for having killed his first wife and his children. Some believe he pushed the Mexicans away and the Calvary stationed in Arizona avoided huge Mexican and American conflicts.
The Mexican Military, U. S. settlers, and U S troops feared this fierce Apache legend. He was like a reincarnated Cochise. He became a prisoner by formal surrender and negotiation to the U.S. Military. He came to the capture on his own volition with the promise that he would not be executed.
His sentence required that he never return to Arizona. He was born in what is known as Turkey Flats near the Gila River. He was not ever a Chief but was a fierce warrior leader. He was the very last Apache warrior leader to be in conflict with the white man.
This great Apache fighter became very docile and forgiving, claiming Christianity to the U.S. and its citizens publicly. Yet he never let go of his Apache traditions toward his tribesmen. Language barriers helped keep this hidden. It was also politically savvy for him to do this. He was able to use the white man's world to his benefit keeping him liked, well fed and somewhat trusted especially toward the latter days of his life.
There is a prominent Boy Scout Camp named after Geronimo near Pine Arizona. In spite of his fierce terrorism, He became a folklore hero. His life has probably supplied the inspiration for Cowboys and Indians being played by millions of children of all ages all around the world. Many Europeans admire Arizona for its cowboys because of Hollywood’s depictions of Geronimo and Cochise. There were probably more cowboys in Texas. We won’t tell ‘em if you won’t.
With this indian legend's peaceful surrender Arizona was considered ready for migration of the Anglo-European settlers. When in a tug of war, Play the pipes of peace.
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