April 30, 2003
AN AMERICAN MOSAIC: LESSONS FROM THE HOLOCAUST LAUNCHES MUSEUM’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY
— Ted Koppel to Emcee Event Showcasing Institution’s Impact —
April 29, 2003 — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum begins its 10th Anniversary today with a special program recognizing people representative of those whose lives have been deeply affected by the Museum, and who use those lessons in their work as they guide others. This is the first in a year of programs that focus on the power and responsibility of the individual, especially in the face of evil.
Ted Koppel, anchor and managing editor, ABC News Nightline, who officiated at the Museum’s dedication on April 22, 1993, will host the event, which will take place in the Museum’s Hall of Remembrance.
Ranging from a Washington, D.C., literacy instructor to a South Dakota educator, students from Annapolis and West Point to a Tennessee pastor, and Holocaust survivors to police chiefs, these individuals will describe their connection to the institution and its continuing impact on their lives. Those participating in the ceremony include:
- Reverend Alvin Anderson, Sr., pastor, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Columbia, TN. His involvement with the Museum’s community partnership programs helped lead to a Holocaust-based literacy project that is now in eight southeastern states and the District of Columbia.
- Sheila Hansen, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, SD. Her work as a Museum Teaching Fellow led the Governor to create a special post to keep her in-state.
- Donald McComb, a Gaithersburg, MD, chemistry teacher who took two additional jobs so that his family’s name could be inscribed on the wall that honors donors of $50,000 and more who built the Museum.
- Retired firefighter Lee Ielpi, Fire Department of New York, who lost his son Jonathan, also a firefighter, at the World Trade Center. He was deeply moved by his visit to the Museum as part of the World Trade Center memorial planning committee.
- Ilcia Moran, Washington, DC. She first visited the Museum eight years ago as part of the Bringing the Lessons Home: Holocaust Education for the Community project with area public high schools, has since worked with the Museum in a variety of posts, and has now begun a Holocaust-based literacy project sponsored by her congregation.
- Chief Charles Ramsey, Washington Metropolitan Police Department. His first visit to the Museum in June 1998 inspired him to suggest the creation of the Law Enforcement and Society training program, a joint project of the Museum and the Anti-Defamation League, which began in 1999.
- Chief Charles Moose, Montgomery County Police Department, will be represented by Antonio Emanuel, his Administrative Sergeant. Chief Moose’s Museum visit led to the expansion of Law Enforcement and Society beyond the District of Columbia to include regional jurisdictions, the FBI, and judges.
- Cadet Edwin E. Morales, West Point, and Midshipman Susan Myers, U.S. Naval Academy. After visiting the Museum as part of a program for West Point cadet leadership, Cadet Morales wrote, “Though I will never be fully able to comprehend the evil created by the hands of men, I can, as a future leader of character, do everything within my power to stop that evil, even at the cost of my life…I cannot thank you enough for this gift you have given not only me, but the entire Corps of Cadets here at West Point. Thank you for reaffirming our focus, our cause, and our life.”
- Harry Ettlinger, Holocaust survivor. While visiting the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition, he happened to select an identification card recounting the story of Hanne Hirsch Liebmann, a 1930s high school friend in Germany. He had assumed she perished in the Holocaust. Through the Museum’s Meed Survivors Registry, they were reunited after more than 60 years.
“Over the last decade, we have worked with exceptional people who helped us create some of the most innovative programs any museum has ever undertaken,” said Museum Director Sara Bloomfield. “They took us to new audiences we never imagined we could reach; they challenged us, they stretched us, they inspired us, and they enriched us. Most importantly they pushed our thinking in new directions and showed us that the potential of the Museum was far greater than we ever understood or hoped for. They helped us achieve the founders' vision, and, in many ways, surpass it.”
Since opening to the public on April 26, 1993, the Museum has welcomed more than 19 million visitors, including nearly 6 million schoolchildren and 14 million non-Jews. A public-private partnership, the Museum is a federal institution whose educational activities and outreach are made possible through private donations. More than 250,000 individuals, foundations, and corporations helped build the institution and currently support its programs and operations. For more information on the American Mosaic special event and the Museum’s 10th Anniversary activities, visit www.ushmm.org.
Media interested in attending the event or interviewing any of the participants should contact Andy Hollinger in at (202) 488-6133 or email@example.com.