Monday, February 21, 2011

Being Aware

It just so happens that two of my sons had the day off, simultaneously, on a national holiday. Today is President's Day, an ode to both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and I looked forward to taking my boys to the Holocaust Museum.

A little morbid, yes, but educational all the same. And the Holocaust Museum by us is small, fettered with windows throughout and easily negotiable via an iPod you dial into to hear the narrations.

It's Black History Month and this museum has an exhibit in honor of the black soldiers who liberated the death camps. I wanted my kids and I to see that.

It turned out to be 4 panels dropped from the ceiling with quotes from black soldiers talking about how they were unprepared for what they saw. The tag line was "Liberators But Not Free", which I thought was appropriate, considering the US Military was segregated into white and black units.

I would have liked to have seen more about the black liberators. White soldiers were for sure freaked out about the death camps, but black soldiers, used to being discriminated against because of their color, saw first-hand what white people did to other white people. They had to be really freaked out.

We stayed to listen to a survivor recount his tale of horror, and then I took my boys out to lunch. Yes, I could eat after all that. So could they. Thank you G-d for the freedom to do so.

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