While the Salem Witch Trials only lasted for 15 months, they left an undeniable mark on history. 20 people were executed in 1692 for witchcraft, 19 hanged and one pressed to death. In August 1992, the Witch Trials' TerCentenary, a memorial was erected in downtown Salem honoring those who would not confess to false accusation. Since it opened in 1992, its estimated that more than 6 million people have visited it!
One September 9, 2012, a re-dedication was held after some much needed restoration was completed. You can see a photo of what it used to look like here. And below is what it looks like now.
There are 20 stone benches along the side walls which hold the name of the accused along with their date and means of execution. If you look along the gray strip at bottom of the sign above, those quotes are engraved in stone on the ground just as you enter the memorial area.
The ceremony was very nice, starting off with the Salem High acapella group doing their version of John Lennon's "Imagine." A few people spoke: a woman who had been involved with the memorial since it was being planned, the mayor of Salem, and actor/author GregAlan Williams who was the first recipient of the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice .
Also in attendance were a number of people that are direct descendants of those the memorial was created to remember. While a recording of a bell rang, they walked over to the memorial to place evergreen cuttings and flowers on the stones of those they are related to.
You can see photos of all 20 stones on Flickr along with some local color including the adjacent Pickman house that is one of Salem's oldest buildings and part of the Charter Street Historical section. Also adjacent to the memorial is The Burying Point, Salem's oldest cemetery. I don't have any photos of it for this post, but maybe I'll get some for October.