Day 31: The Holocaust Memorial Museum
To be honest, though I have lived in the DC area for almost 4 years, I have never before been to the Holocaust Museum. I tend to feel things very deeply, and I knew I would be greatly affected by the museum, having visited a Holocaust museum in Michigan many years ago. Today lived up to my expectations.
While I can follow the Nazi reasoning, I find it incomprehensible. Further, I found the apathy of the rest of the world, well, revolting. I believe that each and every single human being has God-given dignity and the right to live, and humanity has a responsibility to care for our brothers and sisters who may be endangered by their closest neighbors and/or governments.
Day 30: World War 2 Memorial
After visiting the museum, I walked to the Tidal Basin to see some of the memorials. Here are a couple of shots from the World War 2 Memorial.
It is a pool and fountains surrounded by pillars with the names of all the US states and territories. I took a close-up shot of the Missouri pillar in honor of my grandfather, who served with the Marines in World War 2, though he never saw action.
Day 29: Jefferson Memorial
Along with the theme of human dignity and human rights, I submit another memorial from the Tidal Basin, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, whose vision of our country included the term - All Men Created Equal. If we truly believe this, then events like the Holocaust must be prevented in the future, even if the event is only on a small scale.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's historic speech, I present to you the man himself, as visualized in his memorial, also at the Tidal Basin.
Dr. King was fighting an ideological battle similar to that fought by the Jews in Nazi German and of the Abolitionist of the pre-Civil War era. The same concept that different = bad was so prevalent in his day. Things have changed in this country since then, but there are still many, both here and abroad, who still feel this way. I find this intolerant attitude heartbreaking, especially when it is taken to extremes.
Day 27: Martin Luther King, Jr., Quotations
A couple of the quotes engraved in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial really hit home in light of my visit to the Holocaust Museum. Now keep in mind, Dr. King was active about 20 years after World War 2. We had already fought and defeated the Nazis, but that same attitude of superior vs. inferior race, and of different = bad, was something he fought against.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly."
With this quote, I am mindful of the situations in Syria and Egypt, where religious and political persecution is running unchecked while the world sits and does nothing. Is history destined to repeat itself?
"Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies."
There is strength in diversity. So many people fear being ideologically "contaminated" if they spend any time with those who do not think or believe as they do, but in truth God created diversity, and when we embrace our differences, we as a whole become stronger. As we emphasize our differences and the things that divide us, we are weakened as a people.
Day 26: EHLS 2013 Graduation Day
At the end of World War 2, the world said, "Never again." With genocides and ethnic cleansings that have happened in various parts of the world since then, humanity has not lived up to this vow. So the Holocaust Museum asks us, "What are you doing?"
My small contribution - I teach in a program where many of the students come from these lands of conflict, who have seen the extremes of intolerance and lived to tell about it. I train them in professional communication skills so that they can help our government make better foreign policy decisions.
I find meaning in what I do, but today I ask myself, "Is it enough?"