How many times in your life have you stood by and watched as someone mistreated another human being?
A homeless person is still human. A refugee is still human. People with a different religion than you are still human. People of a different race than you are still human.
And I think that sometimes the world forgets.
This past weekend, while in DC, I had the chance of visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was the only place I had to see no matter what other plans came up.
I knew that going here would be heavy, but I’m not sure what else I was expecting. There are warnings throughout the museum about graphic content being shown, but you’re not quite sure what that means until it smacks you in the face. You’re watching people fall into ditches after being
shot executed. You watch as emaciated bodies are dragged into their unmarked graves. You watch as mothers and children are separated into lines that, unbeknownst to them, are marked for death. I hope that makes you uncomfortable, because it should.
We tend to live in a world of comfort and security where we feel like the ugliness of this world can’t touch us. But it can and its grasp has reached around other societies as it chokes the life from them.
Holocaust Memoral Museum Exhibit
The world is in such chaos right now. I couldn’t help but think of the people who suffered the Holocaust and what they would say to us about how we’re living. I feel as though we can be so reckless with these lives we’re given. And sometimes it feels as though the ugliness surpasses the goodness I know exists out there.
The world stayed quiet during the Holocaust and you would think that it would never stay quiet again. But at the end of the exhibit you’re hit with the harsh reality that things like this still happen. As you watch videos of Syria and scan the photos of Cambodia, you wonder where the world stands.
It’s real. It exists. It’s 2017 and these terrors happen daily.
Families are being lost left and right. And the children. So many innocent children paying the price for crimes they never committed. What a burden to bear in your daily life. I can’t imagine a world where I fear that because my apartment building still stands that it may become a target.
The Memorial truly did an incredible job of reminding us that the past and present are always connected. We had our voices then and we have our voices now – we should use them.
If you have time, I highly recommend that you check out the Memorial website if you don’t have time to visit. It’s worth it.
Our presence, in times such as these, is no coincidence. I don’t want to be someone who sits back and watches. In college, all I wanted was to work with people and to help in any ways that I can. Visiting the Memorial made me realize that I pushed it aside in pursuit of my other aspirations. But why can’t they coexist? I’ve decided that they can and that’s all that matters.
So, with that being said, I really want to learn more about the Refugee crisis and seek out ways that I can help. If you have any recommendations on where I should start, please pass them along!