Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Editorial: Reminder of an evil past

As the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum marks its 20th anniversary, our priorities should include ensuring that the memory of that horrific time in our history is never forgotten, and that the evil unleashed is never repeated.

Almost 1,000 Holocaust survivors, World War II veterans and others gathered with thousands of other attendees Sunday at events marking the museum's 20th anniversary.

In remarks posted on the Holocaust Museum's website, Museum Director Sara Bloomfield said, "When the Museum opened, we put Holocaust memory on the National Mall ... we now must inscribe memory across the map and conscience of the world. We are launching this campaign to ensure the permanence of what we've built and to build something new - a transformative global force against the vast span of ignorance, intolerance, and indifference, the ever-present danger that the unthinkable is always possible."

The $540 million campaign is aimed at making critical investments to keep the Holocaust memory alive as a relevant, transformative force in the 21st century, according to the website.

The museum has become one of the most popular destinations for Washington visitors. Since opening, about 35 million people have gone through the exhibits. The photographs and thousands of artifacts leave visitors with a lasting image of the horrors that took place as part of Hitler's Final Solution.

"Twenty years after the founding of the Museum, the timeless lessons of the Holocaust-the fragility of democracy, the nature of hate, and the consequences of indifference-are more urgent than ever," Bloomfield says on the Holocaust website.

Indeed, every day it seems there are more stories of hate based on race, religion or sexual orientation. The museum stands as a stark reminder to what can occur if that hatred goes unchecked, or, as Bloomfield, said, to mark "the consequences of indifference."

We all play a part in the kind of society that we become. Perhaps, as the Holocaust Museum marks its 20th anniversary, that is something that we can keep in mind. And moving forward, the museum can stand as a stark reminder to the consequences that come when evil goes unchecked.