A VISIT TO THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE

The final place on my walk through Battery Park was to the Museum of Jewish Heritage , which is also known as A Living Memorial to the Holocaust .

On the day that I visited the museum wasn’t that crowded early in the morning , but later in the day, it got crowded as it was a school vacation week here in the city .

Before you enter the museum , look at the front of it.

The design has six sides.

The number six seems to dominate this building, from the six sides on the Star of David to the painful reminder that six million Jews that died in the Holocaust .

You will also see pictures of men and women not only on the doors but on the windows as well.

These are survivors of the Holocaust and you’ll learn more about them in an exhibit on the third floor called “Eyewitness”.

The museum has three floors and unlike the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington DC , which asks you to “remember what you saw”, this museum gives you two verses from the Old Testament in the bible, “Never Forget ” and “There is hope for your future.

The floors in this museum are duvided into three eras of Jewish life.

The first floor tells you about Jewish life from 1880 until 1930.

The second floor is from 1930 until 1945 and is known as “The War Against the Jews”.

The third floor is Jewish life from 1945 until the present.

Unlike the museum in Washington, which suggests that you start on the third floor and work your way down, you can start on any floor you wish.

You may take pictures, but no flash.

I didn’t know what to expect really, but the exhibit on the first floor at the Kalikow Memorial said it all for me.

It was dedicated to the non Jews who risked their lives and in some cases, paid the ultimate price for saving the lives of Jews.

If you wish to reflect on what you saw at the museum or what you’re about to see, go to the exhibit on the second floor known as The Garden of Stones .

On the day that I visited the museum, it started off cloudy , but then the sun came out and standing among these huge peaceful rocks, admiring the view of New York harbor and the museum was beautiful .

I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see on the third floor.

They have programs for children and there was even an exhibit for children which was titled, “The number on Great -Grandpa’s Arm.”

The exhibit is about a young boy who asks his great grandfather about the number on his arm and his experiences at Auschwitz.

It’s hard enough for a 65 year old woman like myself, to comprehend how someone would try to wipe out an entire group of people by rounding them up and sending them to gas chambers, now imagine trying to explain this to a child and expect them to understand ?

While I saw many parents with young children in the museum , I honestly would strongly advise parents not to bring children to this museum under the age of 9 years old, and even then at that age, I just wouldn’t .

On another area of the third floor, there was an exhibit by Polish photographer Henryk Ross, who at great risk to hinself, photographed Jewish life in his hometown of Lodz

, Poland .

Looking at the pictures, I wanted to cry and at one point, I found myself wiping away a tear.

It was very personal for me as a few of my uncles fought in the war and this was going on not that long before I was born.

As I left the museum, I would never forget the pictures and documents that I saw, such as identification papers that Jews would have to carry when they went anywhere or the badge that every man, woman or Jewish child would have to wear on their chest.

I will never forget that.

Museum of Jewish Heritage

A Living Memorial to The Holocaust

36 Battery Place

Edward J. Safra Plaza

New York , NY 10280

646-437-4202

Sunday , Monday , Tuesdays 10am – 6pm

Wednesday – Thursday 10am – 8pm(free admission 4pm-8pm)

Friday 10am-5pm

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MORE FEBRUARY TRAVEL QUOTES

We’re almost another month down in 2018.

It’s a new year and almost a new month, have you traveled yet?

What are you waiting for ?

Get out there and see the world or even your own country.

Educate yourself .

See places that you only heard about or read about.

Let these quotes inspire you as usual .

WALKING AROUND CASTLE CLINTON

This building, which defended New York before there was even a United States and during the War of 1812, sits in the middle of Battery Park.

It’s located right across the way from where tourists pick up the boat to go see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty .

Many people know Castle Clinton as the place where one picks up and buys their ticket for the ferry.

But what many people don’t know that it was eventually named for New York governor , De Witt Clinton, and it protected New York City harbor from British invasion during the War of 1812.

After the war and before there was even an Ellis Island Immigration Center, this is where immigrants checked in when they came to New York City .

Right before you get to Castle Clinton, you’ll notice a statue simply titled “The Immigrants ”

It’s a tribute to those who risked and continue to risk their lives coming here for a better life.

As you enter the fort, no matter if it’s just to buy your tickets or just to kill time, take a look around you at this place .

It’s old and it really shows it.

I’ve visited other forts, such as Fort McHenry down in Baltimore and Fort Jay on Governor’s Island here in New York.

Neither of them are showing their age as much as Castle Clinton is.

There’s no wonder that this place is used mostly for buying tickets to see two if the country’s most important landmarks .

There are park rangers around as this is part of the United States National Park Service , but it’s sad to see the condition of a place that’s as much a part of New York history, as well as United States history .

NEW YORK KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL IN PICTURES

It was a nice day to visit Lower Manhattan, so I did.

In Battery Park, near where the boats that take you to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island , there’s many monuments and memorials.

One of which is called “The Universal Soldier.”

If you look closely , this is actually part of the New York Korean War Memorial .

Around the statue are the flags from the countries that sent troops to Korea.

Also around the statue are the dead, missing and wounded from some of those countries.

Let the pictures tell you the story.

A VISIT TO THE AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND NATIONAL MONUMENT

“For All Those Who Were Lost

For All Those Who Were Stolen

For All Those Who Were Left Behind

For All Those Who Were Not Forgotten”

These words are inscribed on a granite wall outside of the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City .

The wall is hiden by scaffolding now, but the first time that I walked by it , these words spoke to me as they should everyone, not just Americans.

The monument is located right near New York’s City Hall and the oh so many courthouses that may look familiar to you if you watch the t.v. show, Law and Order .

It’s also close by that bridge that seems to dominate the Lower Manhattan skyline, The Brooklyn Bridge .

The monument is part of the United States National Park Service.

It’s open on Tuesdays through Saturdays and the admission is free.

The building is officially located on Elk Street , but right underneath the Elk Street sign is another sign that lets you know that you’re going in the right direction right after you get off the subway at the Chambers Street Station.

The street sign reads “African Burial Ground Way.”

As part of the building is under construction you have to walk around the corner to the entrance.

The monument was officially open in 2006.

As you walk into the building and see all the exhibits, you notice two things.

One that slavery did take place in New York City, and how the city had more slaves than any city in the South including Charleston, South Carolina.

You’ll also see a West African heart shape figure called a Sankofa.

You’ll see it a lot throughout your visit.

The Sankofa asks you to “learn from your past so that one may prosper for your future.”

Each exhibit makes you think.

You learn that not only did Europeans sell slaves, some of their fellow Africans did as well.

You also learn, sadly, that if a slave was ill on the voyage to the New World, they were thrown overboard .

What shocks you more, if the exhibits weren’t shocking enough, is that many African slaves and free Negroes, couldn’t be buried in the city or New Amsterdam , as it was called then.

Remains of 419 men, women, and even children, were discovered in the late 1990’s, and finally given the prosper burial they deserved.

The seven mounds that you see that are now covered by scaffolding are the remains of the 419.

One might say that this monument is sobering.

Some people might say that, but it opens your eyes to a part of American History that many Americans don’t know or seem to care about.

African Burial Ground National Monument

290 Broadway , First Floor

New York City , New York 10007

212-637-2019

RIDING ON THE J TRAIN FROM QUEENS TO MANHATTAN AND BACK

When I take the subway into Manhattan, the two subway trains that I usually take are the E and F trains.

Today, I took the J subway train, which like the E train leaves from Jamaica Center.

Like the E train, you can connect at JFK Supthin Boulevard to get the Air train to take you to JFK airport if you ride on the J train.

Unlike the E train, the J train goes from Queens to Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan .

This train is fairly clean as not too many people ride it.

(Ok, it’s clean by New York City subway standards.)

The final stop on this train is Broad Street , which is in the Financial District.

If you wanted to do some sightseeing , like Wall Street and the famous Wall Street Bull, this is the stop that you would get off at.

As I was going back home and noticed people walking and biking over the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn , I saw a sign in the distance right as you get into the largest borough of New York .

The sign read,

“WELCOME TO BROOKLYN . YOU NAME IT….. WE GOT IT.”

Brooklyn was once known as “the borough of churches” and it seemed as though all the churches that the train passed were now banks.

Not surprising seeing that before it became a part of New York City , Brooklyn was the financial capital .

As my train pulls back into the station at Jamaica Center, I think of how peaceful my ride into the city was compared to the E and F trains.

Maybe from now on I might just take the J train.