Today we spent a couple of hours at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC. For those that have never been, it’s definitely a stop worth including in your next trip to the Capitol. And it’s free!
The quality of this museum is stellar. We observed a variety of mediums used in the displays. Videos, etchings, photos – large and small. Explanations and artifacts. Interactive movie selections. An actual rail car and shoes and kids’ drawings.
It was sobering.
It was sad.
I teared up a few times. It was hard not to. The only improvement I could suggest is for some strategically placed tissue stations.
Visitors are provided with a small booklet telling the story of a person who lived during that time. The pages are to be turned in the prescribed sequence of the display timeline. We were given the insight of a normal life full of hopes and dreams, and how it was devastated because of one man’s tyranny.
It is so clear all these years later, isn’t it? How did intelligent civilized people on the same planet allow these atrocities to occur? Did everyone just look the other way while millions of people were killed? Not just killed, but first they were robbed, displaced, enslaved, tortured, and then killed.
The propaganda at the time of Hitler’s rise did not hint of any such genocide. He took advantage of the unrest and instability of the leadership in Germany at the end of WWI. It was well hidden evil.
At the end of the tour, there are cards for visitors to complete. The question is – “What is your responsibility now that you’ve seen, now that you know?”
I couldn’t fill it out. I have no idea how to put into words the impact of all that I had seen. All I know is that I am grateful that I have not had to endure such tragedy in my life, and I hope I never have to.
I also know that it is so important to pay attention to leadership. As much as I dislike politics, ignorance is not bliss.
And we can only live life going forward. We have to do our best with what is in front of us. Lord, help us to pay attention. Help us to love others and look out for the least of these.
Sorry this was not a fun silly one. It’s just where I landed today folks.
Thanks for reading, until next time…