A marker honoring polygamist families arrested and jailed during a raid on their homes 53 years ago has been erected in a Colorado City, Ariz., park — a gift from a leader of a Canadian polygamist sect with ties to the community.

The monument is intended both as a symbol of the past and the future, Winston Blackmore said in a telephone interview. Blackmore, who runs an independent polygamist sect in Bountiful, British Columbia, dedicated the monument in a short ceremony in Colorado City's Cottonwood Park while about 100 people looked on.

The Short Creek raid of July 26, 1953, was meant to destroy the practice of plural marriage.

The raid scattered families, sent children into foster care and jailed dozens of their polygamist parents, but it failed to alter the faith's belief that plural marriage is essential. And after several years in hiding, families came back to Short Creek — now known as the twin towns of Colorado City and Hildale, Utah.

Polygamy remains a central tenet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, whose members have lived along the Utah-Arizona border for more than 100 years.

The monument replaces a similar one which current church leader Warren Jeffs ordered destroyed in 2003, just days after the 50th anniversary of the raid.