Last November, the Museum held a dedication ceremony for our new Garden of Remembrance and Tolerance. After a long hot summer of planning, planting, and watering, everything was in place. The garden was the Eagle Scout project of local student Brandon Ryan, and was certainly a labor of love–due to the hot summer, all the plants had to be watered every day. But before the plants could be planted, and the sculpture installed, Brandon had to start from scratch. The ground on which the garden now sits was once part of our parking lot. Brandon coordinated and participated in all aspects of the project, from breaking ground to the finishing touches.
The focal point of the garden, the sculpture, was designed by Brandon’s fellow students at the Greenhill School, Austin and Bronsin Ablon. On the meaning of the piece, Austin said, “We invite you to discover your own meaning about the sculpture but through building the memorial we have developed a sort of story of what the piece depicts. At first we had the idea to include the metal posts in the walls to represent the concentration camps as cold and hard jails. As we continued building the memorial we discovered more and more about what it meant to us. Its name, ‘Coming Together,’ embodies what happens with the sculpture when it rains. The rain drops, interrupted from their free fall paths, are collected and guided down the path until they all fall into the center star of David that sits bellow. In that action, they “come together” as one. We believe that this idea represents what happened to the Jewish people during the holocaust. Just like the rain drops, their daily lives were interrupted, they were gathered together and forced into trains, and then into concentration camps. But after all of that happened, even though they had suffered horribly, the survivors came together as the Jewish people, stronger and united – just like the rain drops.”
The Garden of Remembrance and Tolerance is one of our favorite places because it stands as a physical reminder to all who pass by that the lessons of the Holocaust are not to be forgotten. It is a special corner of growth and renewal in the center of an area surrounded by concrete and train tracks.