Suffolk County Majority Leader Susan A. Berland (D-Dix Hills) joined Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci on July 11 at Arboretum Park in Melville to co-host the Town of Huntington’s annual Anne Frank Memorial Garden Ceremony in recognition of Anne Frank’s 92nd Birthday.
The ceremony featured remarks from guest speaker Rachel Epstein, a Holocaust survivor; Town of Huntington Deputy Supervisor, Councilman Ed Smyth; Rabbi Howard Buechler from the Dix Hills Jewish Center; Rabbi Orrin Krublit from the South Huntington Jewish Center; and Rabbi Paul Swerdlow, lead chaplain at the Northport VA Medical Center. The Presentation of Colors was provided by Jewish War Veterans Post #488 and refreshments were served courtesy of Hummel Hummel Bakery of East Northport and King Kullen.
After the ceremony, guests visited the Anne Frank Memorial Garden in the park which symbolically captures the journey of Anne Frank’s life. The circular pathway through the garden leads to a sculpture of a lace wedding dress reflective of Anne’s childhood innocence and adolescent hopes and dreams which were cut short. Titled “Sublime” by artist Thea Lanzisero, the empty dress symbolizes our temporary physical presence having possibility of continued lasting memory and the armor-like lace structure of the dress is vulnerable yet fearless, representing the eternal strength that Anne held within her. Along the path visitors can see quotes from Anne’s diary as well as a Horse-Chestnut tree, the same type of tree that Anne described seeing from the small window in the attic.
“This touching event honors the memory of Anne Frank and recalls her legacy, her courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy and her genuine belief in the goodness of mankind despite the ugliness of war and discrimination. May Anne’s legacy and wisdom continue to teach and inspire us for generations to come,” said Leg. Berland.
“While we all come from different backgrounds and walks of life, we can all relate to the humanity and innocence of Anne Frank’s writings, which remind us that in a world filled with light, there is opportunity for evil to trespass against us,” said Supervisor Lupinacci. “Despite our differences, we must stand together as we do, united in the Town of Huntington, as one people, one community, in the face of evil and those who seek to divide us.”
“Anne Frank was a gifted young writer but as I reviewed some of the passages in her diary, one of the great takeaways I found from her writing is that it demonstrates how ordinary of a young girl she really was. What happened to her could have happened to any one of us; the evil perpetrated during the Holocaust is still possible to this day but only if good people don’t stand alert and on guard against it. This is why we must remain vigilant against ignorance and hate,” said Councilman Smyth.
See a video of the event here.