Monday, April 29, 2013

My Holocaust Museum experience

Today my husband, my father-in-law, and I went to Washington D.C to go the holocaust museum's 20th anniversary tribute. Elie Wiesel and Bill Clinton were there just as it was 20 years ago. We walked into this huge tent that seemed more like a building to me with rows and rows of chairs. The tent was filled with people of so many different ages from different countries. Everyone had a name tag hung around their neck telling who they were. Survivor. Child of a survivor. Grandchild of survivor. Veteran. Even survivor and veteran. It was like no other experience! I was in the presence of men and women who survived Hitler's wrath and men and women that fought against Hitler's wrath. I felt clueless and inexperience. 
As the ceremony was about to begin, a group of flags began to gather behind us. They were the flags that represented the 36 infantries, armored, and airborne divisions that liberated the camps of victimized Jews and POWs. I never thought of that important aspect of World War II. 
The army band started the ceremony with the entrance of the flags. It was definitely different from what I grew up with dad being in the air force. There were 4 speakers that played different roles in the holocaust museum. Then there came Elie Wiesel. He was an old slow little man with a strong accent and bold personality. His tribute was to remind us of how we cannot forget what happen and need to continue to tell the next generation the stories we hear and are told. Then Bill Clinton spoke. He was getting old : ) His relationship with Elie has lasted the past 20 years based of learning and remembering together. 
It was a very moving ceremony. One of the speakers told us that there was about 800 survivors and 150 veterans there with us today! Wow I did not realize that there was so many! What an experience! 
Besides the ceremony, there was a schedule events throughout the day. One was the new exhibit that was opened for the first time this weekend called Some were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust. There were three types of people this exhibit that they described: pro-nazi, onlooker, and anti-nazi. The nazis themselves were the S.S, the S.A, the Hitler youth, and people who joined the nazi party. They were cruel and found pleasure in torturing the Jews. The onlookers were the ones who were not particularly fond of the nazis but were afraid of doing anything to fight against the nazis. The anti-nazis were the ones that fought against the nazis and their horrible deeds. They were a teacher who hid Jewish students. They were the ones who sponsor Jews to leave the county to go to the united states. They were the ones who hid people and risked their lives. Which one would I be? 
This is something that I have been REALLY thinking about alot lately. For the ones who pay attention to the news, I believe very soon that our lives are not going to be the same. We are going to loose our freedoms, our freedom of speech, our freedom to bare arms, our freedom of religion. I dont know when but it seems so soon. How will I respond? Just like War World II with the Japanese, the Germans, the Russians, and probably most likely even the Americans, men are naturally evil. War brings out the worse in people. When life is unsettling, it makes people anxious and unsettled and become selfish thinking only of themselves. I have not lost my freedoms and war is not going on but anyone who knows me, I can be a selfish person. Over the smallest things, I can be so self-centered. But this last semester at Teen Club at church, we have been studying every scripture pertaining to the word gospel. I have been enjoying it learning about Paul and how he was motivated by the gospel. I am no where near that. I allow the things of this world to affect me. I allow fear and pride and anger to influence me. To be honest, sometimes it just comes out and right after I do it, I feel so convicted. Am I not living by grace? Am I still the one who wants to be in control? I dont like it but I really allow it. But I believe God is planting something in my heart. He is leading me. He is directing me. Is it going to be forced upon me like Turkey when I was 14 or Grace Children's Home? Or can I just learn it? Take a leap of faith and trust in God and allow the gospel to motivate me. Now I need to remind you that I am NO WHERE near this at all. I am humbling come before God about this. I am yearning and praying for that transformation in my life. No more Netflix. Less of Facebook. More of God's word. More of telling others about Christ. The time is seriously coming. What am I going to do? Just like the museum's motto: What YOU do matters.

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