I woke up this morning, looking at the weather, wondering if I would have decent weather while doing my laundry. As I fumbled to make myself breakfast, somehow I was a week off and thought it was Easter in spite of all of the “Spring Eggs” on Mafia Wars and Farmville, all of the discussion regarding changing the name of Good Friday in a town in Iowa to Spring day or something like that…I was going to play Handel’s Messiah and that would be my Easter celebration.
I fumbled my way over to my calendar hanging on my wall and discovered that Easter had come and gone last week. I discovered that this was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Having been married to an Israeli woman whose parents had been through the Holocaust, I was keenly aware of it.
But, that was not the only reason. I was born during World War II and an Army Brat. We used to go to the movies and see all kinds of news flicks before the main one.
I was aware that my father had been transferred to Germany and spent 3 years there and seen the affects as we travelled throughout of what war does to a country. But, when we took the Displaced Persons ship on the way home, at the age of 7, I became aware of what the holocaust really was.
There are those in the world who will say that it did not happen. Those are the ones that our present President bows before.
While my memory was 58 years ago, it was vivid because it was the first time that I saw a grown man cry. Up until that time, being the child of Army, my concept of men, were that they did not cry.
I slipped off from my sisters, mother and father. And I was exploring the ship, while we were headed back to the States, I found an older man sitting in a chair on one of the decks. He smiled at me and I smiled back. I sat down near him. For a long while I was quiet. Finally my curiosity got the best of me. And he was not in the Army and I had to know.
I asked why he had numbers on his arm? Was it like my dog tags? And I showed him my dog tags. Then I told him I liked his beard and he began to cry and said tell them what you say…Tell them what you say…and younger people came out to be with him, shooing me away.
When we reached Ellis Island, NY. I saw this same man, this time he had a hat one, and he was dancing in a circle with the younger people.
I know that the holocaust happened because I have met those who went through or those whose parents did. Tell them what you saw…