Keynote speaker was acclaimed writer, author and educator Meryl Ain
Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth hosted the Town of Huntington’s 12th Annual Anne Frank Memorial Ceremony at Arboretum Park in Melville, home of the Anne Frank Memorial Garden, on July 26. The event was be held mid-way between Anne Frank’s June 12th birthday and the August 4th date of her capture. Frank would have been 93 this year.
“We must counter the voices that seek to divide us and fight ignorance with education, which is why the Town honors the memory of Anne Frank every year and, through her voice, all those voices silenced through the Holocaust,” said Supervisor Smyth, pictured in photo on right at the podium. “The iron wedding dress sculpture in the Anne Frank Memorial Garden appears vulnerable yet it has withstood the elements, and even acts of vandalism; its endurance represents the strength and fearlessness with which we must fight evil, ignorance and hate.”
This year’s feature guest speaker was Meryl Ain, a Huntington resident who is an acclaimed writer, author, podcaster, and career educator. Her award-winning post-Holocaust debut novel, The Takeaway Men, was published in 2020. Its sequel, Shadows We Carry, was published in April 2023.
The Takeaway Men is the result of her life-long quest to learn more about the Holocaust, a thirst that was first triggered by reading The Diary of Anne Frank in the sixth grade. While teaching high school history in the Syosset School District, she introduced her students to the study of the Holocaust.
The Anne Frank Memorial Garden, unveiled by the Town in June 2010 at Arboretum Park, symbolically captures the journey of Anne Frank’s life. It features a circular pathway that surrounds a garden, which leads to the sculpture of a young girl’s dress. The Memorial Garden serves as tribute to Anne’s legacy of wisdom and genuine belief in the goodness of mankind and human nature, despite the ugliness of war and discrimination.
The Ceremony concluded with a song from Cantor Hazzan Steven Walvick and a final Benediction by Rabbi Asher Vaisfiche.