Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yesterday's News: Reflections on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

I am preparing this post on Wednesday night for posting early on Thursday. I have to be honest with you: I'm having a hard time focusing on anything but the terrible events that unfolded today at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

As some of you know, much of my writing--in every genre--has been influenced by my identity as the elder granddaughter of German Jews who fled to the United States in the late 1930s. I visited the USHMM shortly after it opened. At the time, I was especially moved by "Remember the Children: Daniel's Story," an exhibit that was designed with children in mind. (The fact that in the exhibit, Daniel's fictional sister is named "Erika" only added to the emotion of the visit.)

Although my sister's two children are still too young to understand this part of our family history, someday we will need to explain to them why the great-grandparents for whom they are named left Germany. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I've thought of bringing my niece and nephew to see the USHMM exhibit in Washington one day to help with that difficult task.

I am praying for the family of Stephen Tyrone Johns, the brave guard who stopped the shooter--and paid for that bravery with his life.

And I thank you all for indulging me with a post that I'd more typically leave on my "other" blog.


Margosita said...

Hi Erika- I'm a reader and not much of a commenter on your blog, but I wanted to pop up to say that it is understandable how you feel. Have you seen Mark Blumenthal's reaction to the shooting?

I think you might connect with it.

Erika D. said...

I hadn't seen that, Margosita. Thank you so much for the link. Much appreciated.

Ken B said...

Yes, this was quite a tragedy. My family and I walked past the museum about 6 weeks ago on a peaceful sunny day. Its hard to fathom how someone could walk across the expanse of sidewalk in front of the museum with a rifle and not be noticed.

Erika D. said...

Thank you for your comment, Ken.