The Holocost Museum

Trip Start Mar 02, 2008
Trip End Dec 03, 2008

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lisa and Cindy arrived at Lauren's house in the morning to meet us for a day in Washington DC.   I was so excited to get to see Lisa again.  Her mad cap adventure intersected with mine perfectly!    What we didn't know when we planned a day in DC is that the Pope would be in town.  As we pulled up to the train station "LOT FULL" signs were on every entrance.   It was time for a plan B.    We ended up driving across town to park at the mall and take a bus to the train station to take the train to the city.    I think the bus ride was as long as the train ride. 

The one thing on our agenda was to go to the Holocaust Museum.   I knew this was going to be difficult to see and still, I feel that everyone should see it.    The museum is set up so that it transitions from life before, during and after.   It was very crowded inside and that seemed somehow appropriate.   There were some exhibits that I simply could not bring myself to view, I was already nauseated and weepy.   I was surprised by what I did not know.   Hitler first started his abuse of people with disabilities and mental disease and then homosexuals before moving on to the Jewish people.  I don't remember that from my history classes.  The piece that touched me the most was the tower of photo's.   These are happy photo's from life before.  Pictures of families and graduates and weddings and happy carefree times.   As I stood looking at these beautiful faces, my mind replaced them with the faces of every Jewish person I know and tears ran down my cheeks.   I spent a lot of time in the last 2 exhibits where the survivors tell their stories on audio and video.   I felt such deep respect and thought the least I could do was to hear their stories.  

We four women had been separated in the museum and so I walked out, I discovered that I was the last one of us to emerge.   Lisa took a look at me and jumped up to hug me.  This started the open sobbing for me.   The hardest part is to realize that humans have not changed so much, that genocide does still happen today.

Leaving the museum, we walked across the mall and sat in front of the Washington Monument to catch our breath and quiet our hearts.   We then posed for a group picture--grateful for our shades and took a few more shots before walking back to the train.

Back in Frederick, we went to the Cracker Barrel for dinner and shared a dessert.  Afterward, we said our good-byes to Cindy and Lisa spent the night with us at Lauren's home.   Lisa and I got a good walk in that night.  She was a great walking partner as we kept pace in both stride and conversation.
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