Photo courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Last night began Holocaust Remembrance Day, which ends today at sunset. A day when Jews around the world stop to reflect on a horror beyond comprehension. Yet, in light of the atrocities being committed in Ukraine, it should make us all stop, think, and promise to “never forget.” As we see images that are hard to believe are happening now, there are some Holocaust images that will always be imprinted in our minds and hearts … all serving as a reminder that, regardless of your religion, evil is evil.

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Shoes. Seemingly endless shoes. That’s all I can think about.


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I know you cannot be talking about my closet.


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Far from it! It’s an image that’s forever burned in my memory. A pile of shoes, each one representing a life lost. Each one a story onto itself. Each one proof of something we should never forget.


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Normally, I would ask you to tell me what you are talking about or accuse you of being overly dramatic. But, not this time.


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When you sent me the article about the United Nations recently issuing a strong message against the denial or the distortion of the facts surrounding the Holocaust – the first thought that came to my mind was the shoes. How can you ignore the piles of victims’ shoes?!


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The same way you can ignore the documentary footage of the liberation of the concentration camps, and all the horrible evidence that was left behind. How do you ignore the many books on the subject, not to mention the first-hand accounts of survivors?


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I’m not saying that can be ignored. It’s almost unimaginable and horrible and heartbreaking. But there’s a difference between learning about history and literally standing feet away from thousands of shoes that had been worn by the victims, each representing not only a life but a family, a community.


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I understand. I read The Diary of Anne Frank in school, but when I walked through the actual house in Amsterdam, it became real. And overwhelming. That is why there are Holocaust Museums and memorials around the world. And, unfortunately, there were enough victims’ shoes to allow them to be displayed in many places.


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I remember the first time I went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. It was only a few weeks after it opened in 1993, and although I was 30 years old and had learned about the Holocaust in school, it was still overwhelming. I’ll never forget that the exhibit with the shoes was filled with visitors, yet it had an eerie silence.


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Yes, it is a haunting experience. I remember you telling me, decades later, that after you and Sawyer visited the museum, of everything on display, that also was what struck her the most. And, I am guessing she probably heard less about the Holocaust in school than we did.


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Growing up, I remember hearing about the loss of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, and that the world should “ never forget .” But it seems that people are not only forgetting, but many are now denying it ever happened! Why else would the United Nations have to issue a statement?!


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A statement that also urges social media platforms to take active measures to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial or distortion.


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What scares me the most is that the more people deny the Holocaust ever happened, the more likely such horrors can happen again. That history will repeat itself.


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You are the lover of history, not me, and for years have told me that not acknowledging history dooms you to repeat the mistakes. But, that is also true of all of us. If we do not acknowledge mistakes, then we are apt to repeat them.


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Fine, but how do you combat not only hate, but lies, lies that are accepted as truth. Tell me how you do that.


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There is no easy answer. That may be why there is an International Holocaust Remembrance Day . But, one day a year is not enough for each of us to focus on seeking the truth, and not repeating things if we are not sure they are true. And, sharing what we know to be true.


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Like the overwhelming emotion brought on by piles and piles of victim’s shoes? Shoes that scream out, “Never forget“ or, maybe more accurately, “Never forget me.”


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The only way to make sure we “never forget” is for us to “always remember” and help others do the same.

Red's two Labradoodles

Photo taken by Red

If you asked Black about National Pet Month, she’d probably quote you statistics about the number of people who have pets and the health benefits, conveniently “forgetting” what she told Red about unconditional love. But Red would tell you that she celebrates Moo (read the original post to learn about the other “unusual names” of her four-legged family members) every day, letting her know with a hug and a cuddle how much she’s loved.



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Well, this month marks 18 years since you changed my life, so I wanted to thank you. Again. For bringing such happiness into the lives of the girls and me, although some heartbreaking sadness, too. But there's nothing like unconditional love.


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OK, but can you tell me what you are talking about?


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Do you remember when I moved to Houston after living overseas, and we started going to the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio for Memorial Day weekend? You were married to Larry, and his girls were young, and Natasha and Sawyer were even younger. Well, in 2003 you asked me if it was OK if you got us a puppy.


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You had always talked about getting a dog but wanted to have children first. The timing seemed right, but given your allergies, the options were limited. Until I learned about a new breed, well technically a mixed breed, originally developed in Australia to be hypoallergenic guide dogs.


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I'll never forget you showing me photos of the most incredibly adorable dogs I'd ever seen. The fact Labradoodles were half standard poodle, which was what I had initially thought we'd get, and half Labrador Retriever was amazing. But only you could find the perfect dog from an article in a business magazine.
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For golfers, spring means another Masters golf tournament. Last year, everyone talked about the 35th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus’s amazing come-from-behind victory to claim his 18th major championship. What made it even more amazing was that, at 46, no one thought he would ever win another major. This year, the talk’s all about Tiger Woods (now 46) competing on the 25th anniversary of his first Masters win. It’s a comeback story straight out of Hollywood as a serious car accident 14 months ago initially left people wondering if he would survive, let alone ever play golf again. (Which is reminiscent of when Ben Hogan, one of golf’s all-time greats, came back after a horrific car accident in 1949 to win The U.S. Open in 1950.)

For most golf fans and lovers of great sports comebacks stories, those are inspirational examples of never giving up. And although I was in the crowd around the 18th hole in 1986 when Jack Nicklaus raised his putter in triumph, that was my second favorite Masters memory. And my greatest memory at the Masters didn’t actually take place at the Masters. Well, not at the golf course, anyway.

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Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo

It happened again. I’m talking to someone, and out of the blue, they say, “Wow, you look just like Barbra Streisand!” It used to annoy me because although I loved Barbra’s voice, I wasn’t such a fan of her nose. Which, I knew, was the main reason I looked like her. Or at least I did once I started straightening my hair. But before then, there was the time that my sister (long before I started calling her “Black”) first made the connection, albeit it in a very unexpected – and public – way.

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