Monday, March 19, 2007

Dear Readers,

This coming May 31, 2007 will mark the 20th anniversary of the unveiling and subsequent desecration of the Skokie (IL) Holocaust Memorial. The memorial stands between the Skokie Public Library and the Village Hall of Skokie, Ilinois.

I was there that day almost twenty years ago when the veil was lifted, and I saw the despicable desecration of this monument the next day when, just hours before in the anonymity of the night, misanthropes spray painted it with anti-Jewish graffiti and swaztikas.

I returned home seething with anger and wrote the following poem that has been revised many times over the years, but I think I am happy with this revision.

What do you think?

"Dignity Restored"
by Alan D. Busch

Holy martyrs … kedoshim
For whom monument tall
Shouts defiantly: “NEVER AGAIN!”
at last and for all.
Thus hatred's reminder,
its insatiable, implacable aim,
weighing heavily as it should
upon humanity’s unforgivable shame.

Atop the bronze mount
does stand there remain
Remnants of countless savagely slain:
a mother whose babe has cried its last,
an eklerly Jew to whom a boy clings fast.
A partisan fighter whose gestures ignite …
one spark of the hope that flickered by night.

Amidst the rubble of days …
That which had been
through the ages a beacon for men ...
the Torah commanding “Thou Shalt Not Kill ...”
albeit in ruins though applicable still!
to our lives which came after,
relatively free,
of terror's ability to blind us who see.

Now tearful, silently stoic first gaze
while vigilance slept, its fires not ablaze ...
why desecrate this monument
a tribute to those
in whose memory we recall
so few of their woes?

Nary a night did pass ere an evil befell,
and reminded, were we all, of heaven and hell.
Now gone were the tears that had welcomed its sight,
but ready were the many to stand and fight
an ugly reminder whose obscenities told …
of times long since and graves since cold.
Aroused and awakened this community alert,
whose monument remained defiled as such,
to remember one and all
, incredulous and carefree,
that history was not over …
as they had hoped it might be.

A garden became this memorial soon,
And erased were the lies
that had blackened the truth.
Dignity restored its shiny gloss
to words read anew …
of six million lost.

Toward heaven it points
in neither doubt nor shame,
history reminding our memories lame.
That even those departed …
must struggle to hone
the spade that will dig out
this spot as their

Alan D. Busch copyright@2000


frumhouse said...

Beautiful thoughts and words.

Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...

Dear Frumhouse,

Thank you for your kind words.