A Place of Light

posted by Sharon April 8, 2013 7 Comments
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You will find something surprising on the Freedom Trail in Boston. Along this walk of historical buildings that date from the American Revolution is a memorial built only a few years ago. You round a corner, and here is what you see.

This is the New England Holocaust Memorial. It stands as an imposing tribute to hope. The idea for this was born of survivors of the Holocaust who live in Boston. They survived the camps with at least a tiny shred of hope intact, and they started over. They are successful in life, with families and businesses.

The designers wrote, “The memorial to darkness is built with light.” And so what you see and experience is the light through the glass walls. The 6 glass towers represent the 6 death camps in Poland during WWII.

On the soaring walls you see numbers etched in the glass — 6 million of them to represent all those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. You walk through the glass, marveling at the sheer number of numbers.

My husband Curt snapped this photo of me at the memorial. I think I was torn between smiling for the photo and thinking that it’s a travesty to smile at such a sobering place. Yet we can smile at the hope this place represents.

Last week, a Commemoration was held at the memorial. The committee organizing this writes: “This year, we honor the strength and resiliency that enabled individuals to survive and rebuild lives of meaning, dignity and purpose. Their courage in bearing witness and transmitting memory to new generations sustains our commitment to remember the Holocaust for all time.”

I can’t begin to imagine the life of the survivors. But we can all honor them. We can learn from them. They show us a picture of hope and resiliency. We can cry for them and for the unfathomable sorrow of the Holocaust. We can smile because hope lived through the darkness and shines again in the light.

Linking up with Project 52 and Little Things Thursday.

Photos are processed with the textures Lincoln and Braveheart from Nancy at A Rural Journal.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Comments

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Susan April 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I live in Southern Maine so a day trip to Boston is entirely “do-able” for me. I need to see this in person, but love seeing your images here. Must be breath taking-in a literal way. Thanks for sharing.

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kim April 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm

The holocaust really just breaks my heart. I have a huge book full of photographs that I have looked at from time to time, but the images crush me. I understand about the smile. I had the same reaction at The World Trade Center memorial. People were milling about smiling, and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around that.

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin April 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Oh gorgeous. It is such a gorgeous part of Boston and a touching memorial to the souls lost. And how fitting since yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance day.

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Sherry Galey April 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm

This post and the images give me serious goosebumps, Sharon. Very affecting. Thank you for sharing such an important place.

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kleinworthco April 8, 2013 at 9:28 pm

I heard about this place- it’s incredible. WOW!

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christineenyartelfers April 9, 2013 at 4:09 am

I’ve not heard of this memorial… I’ve been to the Holocaust Museum in Wash DC & the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Must add this to the list. Thank you for sharing the gorgeous pictures of the building.

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Andrea April 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Wow! That looks like an amazing place to visit and what a great memorial.

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