Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Today I was huffing and puffing up a storm while I was jogging in the heat. I took a rest stop next to the Aquarium and did something I've been meaning to do for quite some time. I took a close look at the New Orleans Holocaust Memorial. The memorial consists of nine acrylic pillars painted with what appears to be stained-glass patterns in the center. The edges of the pillars facing the river are painted different colors, while the edges on the other side are painted black. When you go to the plaque explaining the memorial and look at the pillars, you see a yellow star of David on a black background. Walk around slowly, and the star of David disintegrates, eventually into blackness. Continue walking around, and eventually a multicolored menorah appears. Continue further, and rainbow colors appear.

I found the memorial moving. Despite the darkness of the Holocaust, Jewish culture and faith has survived. Also, I love the way the memorial was put together. It's very cool and not dark and depressing. I think we need to be reminded of that terrible chapter in 20th century history; this is the kind of thing that can't happen again. I say that knowing that we've had the killing fields in Cambodia, ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, and the slaughter in Rwanda.

Also interesting was that the Archdiocese of New Orleans contributed money to build the memorial. Yesterday I read an article by Elie Wiesel praising Pope John Paul II for improving Catholic-Jewish relations.

16 comments:

Ann said...

Down by the aquarium? Riverside?

Jo said...

That is absolutely amazing! I love stuff like that. On Sunday I caught parts of a show about the Poles and WWII - there were a group that decided to revolt against the Germans. It's a story not told often. 63 days in 1944 these Polish men, woman and children fought hard on their own against the Nazis. They thought help was coming from Britain.

Thanks for posting this because it reminded me to research this to find books about it.

Amazing stories during that time.

Dave said...

Randy, how close is the Memorial to the Quarter? I wouldn't mind checking that out when we're down there.

Dave said...

And while I'm asking, is the Aquarium worth a look (which is to say, is it worth taking time away from the Quarter if we're only there a couple days?) If there's a shark tank, it's worth it.

Randy said...

The Aquarium and the memorial are on the river, across the tracks from the French Quarter. Technically speaking, they may be inside the Quarter, I don't know. The memorial is in Woldenberg Park, just outside the IMAX theater.

Jo said...

DAVE! I'm jealous! You are going to New Orleans???? So are you going to meet up with Randy and Ann? That would be sooooooooo cool!

Dave said...

Yeah, I was just talking to my wife last night about going back to the Big Easy. We’re thinking October is the earliest we can go. We already have solid plans to hit Disney World again in September, so it’ll have to be October at the earliest. And yes, if Randy and Ann are still interested, I definitely want to meet up with them. Have a few drinks down by the river, and all that. Good times!

My wife made me laugh last night when we were talking about it. She told me she wants to go but we have to stay in a better place than a La Quinta. I guess the cockroaches tweaked her a bit last time we were there. The reason it makes me laugh is that you should see the monsters that visit our back porch every fall. What, are the ones in Louisiana any worse? She cracks me up. Course, those little horses stay outside our house. The ones at the La Quinta we stayed at in N.O. seem to be welcomed with open arms.

Randy said...

La Quinta? I always thought of Dave as the type who would take a suite at the Fairmont. There's a new La Quinta downtown that looks pretty nice. There are scores of other hotels around here too. Hotels proliferate like cockroaches in this town.

Dave said...

Ah, I've stayed in hotels that run the gamut between "luxury" and "dive." La Quinta was where we were forced to stay because it was Jazz Fest weekend and we were lucky to get in there. We plan to plan ahead this time.

Heather said...

i'm so jealous!

hmmm... actually, when you guys have solid dates, email me or something, houston isn't that far from new orleans... depending on how law school stuff is going, maybe we could swing by for a weekend for a mini vacation... it's tempting. ben's never been to new orleans, and dang it, everyone else gets to meet in ut. why should the southerners always get left out?

Jo said...

Hubby has been wanting to go back to New Orleans since his mission many years ago. He loved it! So we've been talking about a trip there in the near future as well.

But probably not this year. I'm supposed to go visit my dad in MI. If I make it out there I hope to hook up with my Detroit seestah.

How is the weather in N.O. in the spring?

Dave said...

Sweet, Heather! It's true, I always felt left out from those Salt Lake lunches. Besides, N.O. is a much more appropriate place for a bunch of apostates to get together anyway. Nobody cares if you do a lot of swearing and drinking in the Quarter. In fact, I think it's a requirement. City bylaw, maybe?

I'll certainly be letting everyone know when we plan to go. Too bad you can't come, Jo (although I think you should still try). Man, that would be a party!

Jo said...

Hmmmmmmmmmm I will have to see what kind of air fares I can get. That would be a blast to see you all!

Miranda said...

Jo can come visit you southerners as long as she comes to Detroit first. I called dibs first, LOL.

Ann said...

Oh, man, this so rocks! October is BEAUTIFUL here, it's still summer, but not in the 90s (high 70s low 80s) and the time hasn't changed yet so the evenings are good. Randy and I can carpool. Heather, you MUST come! It's only a six hour drive unless you have to stop every two hours.

Heather said...

it's closer to 5, which is about the same as the trip to visit my mom in central tx. so we are used to a trip like that. we could leave the baby with family, or bring him (if we brought him it would be a longer drive, but he is cute, and adores aquariums... hmm...). this would be so fun! we will definatly have to try :)