Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Life Changing: Holocaust Memorial: Day 6

I've been doing so good at recording our trip by the day in chronological order but this stop needed it's own post. First because I felt it was disrespectful to sandwich this in between morning walks on the beach and going to dinner at Rainforest Cafe and second because this was the best part of the trip. Don't get me wrong, we had a ton of fun the whole trip and everyday was great but this would be the thing I would choose to do if I had to pick from the long list of things we did. The rest of this day is in the post below.

So one day when I was trying to figure out exactly where we were going to stay for this trip I stumbled across a link for the Holocaust Memorial in Miami. The minute I heard about it I wanted to go. I wasn't quite sure why I wanted to go so bad at the time. The website made it look like it was just a statue but it was something in the Spirit that said, "You HAVE to go here." J wasn't as excited about it....or I should say he wasn't excited about detouring into Miami traffic. We were suppose to go on the way down to the Keys but didn't have enough time so I made sure we would stop on the way back. I'm so glad we did. J is really glad too.

*Some of these pics may not be appropriate for children. I know my kids look at blogs with me so I just wanted to put that out there*

Walking down the sidewalk before you get to the Memorial.

When you turn the corner you are met with this sight. I wonder what people passing by who don't know this is a Holocaust Memorial think they are looking at?

Six Million. That's how many Jewish men, women, and children lost their lives.

The arm reaching up with a number tattooed on it while men, women, and children cling to it.

The Memorial goes all the way around the center statue. It starts with this smaller statue of a woman protecting her fearful children from what's to come.

Then there are many pictures and history of what took place leading up to the Nazi's ultimate plan to eradicate God's chosen people completely.

You then walk into this gorgeous temple where you can hear children singing which is so beautiful and somber at the same time. In the ceiling is this Star of David.......

......which the sun reflects onto the floor.

Then you travel down this long corridor. One of the symbols here is that this is what it might have been like to be in one the train cars taking people to the concentration camps. Imagine being crammed in here with hundreds of people and this little of fresh air and light.

The walls are etched with the names of all the concentration camps.

When you emerge from the corridor you are met by this little girl reaching out for help.

Then you can see the main statue close up.

There was so much detail. It was amazing.

If you look closely at the statue you will see that not only are the people holding on and crying out for help but they are also trying to help and save someone else.

Maybe it's their child.....

.....or their spouse. Maybe it's a stranger they have never met but share something in common....trying to survive.

Around the main statue there are other smaller statues.

These statues of two men on the ground was so hard for me to see. This is what it must have looked like....but thousands upon thousands.

When we were exiting the Star of David caught my eye again. It looked so sad and dark. Kind of like the feeling you get when you really think about what actually took place not all that long ago in history.

Can you ever really understand how many 6,000,000 really is?

When you start seeing names you can. You see names.......

.............and more names...............

.....................and more names..............

........and then you realize you can't fathom how many 6,000,000 really is. This is just a small fraction in front of your eyes of all the lives lost.

At the end there is another statue. The same mother and her two sons.

While we were walking through an older gentleman came up to us and said there was a movie we could watch and that he could unlock the doors for us. I knew that it was close to closing time so I was glad we could still see the film that talks about all the symbolism in the Memorial along with how it was made. So J and I followed this man to the tiny theatre. I was thinking he had a group of people but it was just us. I felt kind of bad that this man was going to stay late just so the two of us could watch. After he joked around with us about no monkey business in the theatre since we were alone he left us to watch. It was really good and I'm actually glad we watched after we walked through as I probably would've been an emotional mess if we had known about ALL the symbolism before going through the actual Memorial. After the movie the man returned and made sure J had behaved himself. As he was trying to figure out how to turn the DVD off he started talking with us and then said, "I survived that." It took me off guard a little. When we first met him the thought went through my head but that was just for a moment. He said the reason he takes the time to show the video, even to just two people, is that he wants the younger generations to remember and know what really happened. He then said something that shot through me like fire. He said,"Then it was the Jews. Tomorrow it could be anybody." As a born again Christian living in these days that statement makes you think a little. He said he would answer any questions but I didn't have simple questions. Here was a man standing in front of me who probably saw and experienced things that I can't even begin to fathom. He was probably a very young man, maybe a child. He seemed so light hearted and was so funny with his jokes and personality. The questions I had were personal and I didn't feel like I could ask them at the moment. "How do you forgive and go on after?" and "Do you know who Yeshua is?" I was wondering if maybe he did believe in Christ because I can't imagine having such a light hearted attitude after living that without the help of God's never ending faithfulness and peace. I hope God will give us another opportunity to talk with this man more. Don't ask me how considering we don't even know his name but I know that with Him all things are possible. I'm guessing this man believes that too.

1 comment:

  1. That's incredible! I'm glad you shared. Thank you. - Andrea