I spent Monday, December 26 with my folks, Paul and Mary Burleson, writing down some material for a history that I am working on for our family. Both my mom and dad have some pretty remarkable personal stories and the day was quite enjoyable learning some things about my parents I had not previously known. At the conclusion of the day they presented to me a gift they had purchased for my 50th birthday (December 27th). My mom took a picture of my dad and me holding the gift. Those who know me understand my love for history and my parents' gift 'knocked it out of the park.' It is an original, handcrafted art piece by a Cherokee artesian depicting the consequences of a broken 1817 treaty between the United States and the Cherokees. The government had promised the Cherokees they could live on their lands in Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. The United States would later break the 1817 treaty and forcibly remove the Cherokees from their native lands and forcibly march them to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in what is now called the Trail of Tears. Thousands of Cherokee people lost their lives. In the case is a replica of that Cherokee Treaty of 1817 signed by Andrew Jackson, on behalf of the government, and made with the Cherokees in Tennessee, Georgia and portions of the Carolinas. Cherokee signers include McIntosh, Adair, Rogers, and others whose names live on in the county names of the state of Oklahoma. The treaty, broken by the government, is represented by the authentic broken Cherokee spear that is impaled in the treaty. The blood represents the Cherokee lives lost in the Trail of Tears. The Indian on horseback shadow in the background is the national Cherokee symbol and represents "The End of the Trail." It's a really great gift from even greater parents.