Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunday Reflections

A recent Sunday seemed to be a day which brought lots of relection.

At 10:30 am I arrived at Babi Yar Memorial Park on the edge of Denver. The memorial to the vicious murder of over 32,000 people in a ravine near Kiev in Ukraine was to begin at 11. I got there early as I wanted to find a shady spot. I sat in a shady row on the right side of the audience and when I stood to greet Larry Mizel, I turned around and an older Russian woman had placed her purse on my chair. So I ambled over to the other side and found a semi-shady spot.

One speaker reminded us that those who perished in the murders at Babi Yar died twice. the first time when they were shot and killed and the second time in that the little bit of earth above them bore no markers as to their names. Just a mass grave with thousands ;upon thousands crowded in together. I thought of the many mass graves in the west of Ireland in County Clare. No markers tell the names of those who starved in the famine. They died twice too.

Many older members of the Russian and Ukrainian Jewish community attended and I tried to speak what little Russian I remember from my 4 years of study. I can rattle off poems and prayers. An pianist of Armenian ancestry played three selections for those who died at Babi Yar. I met her later and thanked her for her beautiful compositions.

A young woman recited a prayer in Hebrew for the dead.

I am pround that 12 Regis students attended the ceremony and I could tell they were all moved and they took Alan Gass's tour of the site, as students did last year. They mentioned they did not know about it prior to this event. Dr. Victoria McCabe reports this from many students over the years. The sun was hot and beat down on the crowd gathered for the solomn event.

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