Friday, August 1, 2014

"Tower of Faces" Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C.

"Tower of Faces" United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - HERE for website
Photo NOT taken by me 
Tower of Faces - Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C.

In black and white

A boy rides a chubby pony
Farm girl gathers eggs
Young man shows off shiny new bike
Woman poses hillside, new coat, new gloves, wind in her hair

Children play outdoor games
Distinguished gentleman sits on wooden chair 
Mother leans over a crib
Young boy's first day at school, book open

Teenagers beachside, faces sun-flushed
Chubby baby, proud older sister 
Lad fast outgrowing wooden rocking horse
Couple on hammock, smiling

Three sisters, embroidered dresses, lipstick lightly applied, hair shining
Horse and farmer battling snow
Four young men in a convertible
Family celebrations, tables laden with food and drink

Handsome man with cane, wavy hair, sexy eyes
Sled party, fur trimmed collars and sleeves, laughing
Three women with shawls, heads together
Toddler clutches well-worn teddy bear

Old lady, threadbare scarf, wooden bucket
Pair of strapping men with axes, one with dimple, dangling cigarettes, coats, hats
Flowered scarf adorns dark, waist-length hair, pendant nestled in v-neck dress
Father holds cherub daughter, soft hair pressed against stubbled cheek

Pearl earrings dangle from delicate ears
Two grandmothers sit on pillared porch, clutch purses, hats tilted 
Slender girl with white dress billowing, walks along gravel, country road
Woman poses for lover, he photographs her lying in grassy field.

Lives in full color.

You, them, me … we fool ourselves there's a difference.   It's really only "us".


by Margaret Bednar, August 1, 2014


I just returned from Washington DC with three of my daughters.   We visited the Holocaust Museum for the second time and have yet to finish it.  The next time I go I will start where I ended this time and hopefully will finish this museum experience.   I was quite taken this time with the "Tower of Faces".

We all suffer when we treat others with hate, prejudice, indifference.  I'd like to think one day that "…all the children of Abraham Will lay down our swords forever in Jerusalem" (from Steve Earle "Jerusalem" from "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive).   The "Tower of Faces", if we really look, is our story of family, that each of us have images in our family albums of loved ones doing these exact same things.    We are not different.  We all belong to the same family.

This is a response to the challenge from "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Music with Marian - Jerusalem".     

15 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Absolutely perfect, Margaret. And true. All the same. All just wanting to live. All with families, hopes, dreams. It must be amazing to see that Wall of Faces. So good for your daughters to see it, too.

Raining Iguanas said...

Wonderful post Margaret.

Sumana Roy said...

that's where our dream lives in the well-being of others...beautifully spun..

RIZALENIO said...

So heartfelt. Wonderful read.

Susie Clevenger said...

So beautiful...so correct..We aren't different. "It's really only "us". This speaks straight to my heart.

Vandana Sharma said...

Such truth in your words, there is no difference we humans are all the same, one soul, but the world will take its own time to understand this simple thing.

Kerry O'Connor said...

It is such a simple concept: we are all the same, we inhabit the same world, in the same time. We have no where else to go.. yet we cannot lay down our hatred. It is so sad.

jo-hanna said...

a collage of lives - so fragile, so easily destroyed.

Susan said...

Bravo! You make me see the tower--an entire town of life, 4 generations of life. A memorial.

Fireblossom said...

That's the thing, exactly. Most of the suffering in the world comes from the belief that some people are somehow less human than others.

Marian said...

this is soooo powerful, Margaret. i love it. your steady iteration of all the qualities of the people in the photographs.... like a drumbeat underscoring your message. wow.

lifewithhorace said...

Wonderful Margaret. My Dad and I went through the museum some 15+ years ago, holding hands as we walked into one of the rail cars, stood listening and feeling, and then out again. I'll never forget that. Thank you for a beautiful tribute to those faces.

hedgewitch said...

You describe everything essential about our humanity here, Margaret--we are all just people, trying to live our lives. It doesn't surprise me that the photographs of these individuals are what struck your eye and made the most impression on you--it is your medium, and it speaks to you clearly. Thanks for translating it here for us, and showing us these lives so sadly wasted.

Brian Miller said...

going to the holocaust museum is like a punch in the gut...went a few years ago...so emotional and heartbreaking...

we are not that mush different...and yes, it is us ---

Hannah said...

I must echo Kerry's comment and also I love the way you brought that one line of color in indigo awareness...and closing thought is so powerful.