MANKATO, Minn. - The Dakota War of 1862 came to a brutal end 150 years ago with the execution of 38 Dakota men.
Drum beats signaled the start of one of the largest government sanctioned mass executions in U.S. history.
On Dec. 26, 1862, 38 Dakota prisoners stood on a scaffold in Mankato as nearly 4,000 people crowded the streets to watch them get hanged, according to the Minnesota Historical Society.
Years later it is still difficult for many Dakota descendants to talk about.
Drums sounded again on Wednesday as hundreds gathered in Mankato to remember.
"These are the ones who paid the supreme sacrifice for our liberation," said Peter Lengkeek, staff carrier for the Dakota Nation/Crew Creek.
Each name was read out loud reminding many of the past but pushing them toward the future.
"You need remember, but you also got to forgive and to go on and raise your children in a good way," said Dave Brave Heart, chair of the Mahkato Mdewakanton Association.
A memorial with all 38 names was dedicated in remembrance of the Dakota men. It is placed in an area believed to be the spot where the executions took place.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)