#SootinClaimon.Com : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.
WASHINGTON – Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday dedicated the fourth of the planned “quartet” of human rights carvings in the buildings vestibule, honoring the late Elie Wiesel with prayer and discussion of the Holocaust survivors legacy of pursuing justice, hope and faith in the face of humanitys darkest crimes.
The dedication marked the first time a modern Jew has been memorialized at the huge, Gothic-style cathedral, which houses hundreds of images in its carvings, stained glass and other art inside and outside in an effort to be a multifaith institution addressing modern issues. The cathedral is part of the Episcopal Church.
Wiesel, the famous author of the Holocaust memoir “Night,” a teacher and a human rights activist, joins Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa and slain civil rights activist and seminarian Jonathan Daniels as the four busts in the four corners of the vestibule that, in pre-pandemic times, greeted hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. (The cathedral is in the process of reopening and is scheduled to resume allowing sightseers on Oct. 18.) The four are called “The Quartet,” said cathedral spokesman Kevin Eckstrom.
Also in the Human Rights Porch, or vestibule, are statues of the Salvadoran Bishop Oscar Romero, Eleanor Roosevelt and Bishop John Walker, the first Black Episcopal bishop of Washington and a cathedral dean.
Speaking at a Tuesday afternoon prayer service to dedicate the carving, the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, the cathedral’s current dean, recalled reading “Night” as a White Protestant growing up in the South and being jarred by his first encounter with the Holocaust.
“‘Night’ changed my life. Here was a description of evil in its rawest form. Human evil of unspeakable proportions,” Hollerith told a small crowd that included Wiesel’s 90-year-old widow and his children.
Hollerith quoted Wiesel’s writings on the complicated relationship between despair and memory and how they intertwine with faith and hope to refuel one another.
“What amazed me more about Elie Wiesel’s writings was that he went on praying. In spite of everything. The extermination of his mother and sister, the slow death of his father, he went on praying. Angry with God, taking God to task, but never letting go,” Hollerith said.
Today the struggle for human rights goes on, whether it’s the Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar, the Yazidis of the Middle East, the Uyghurs in China “or the treatment of migrants and refugees on our own Southern borders,” Hollerith said. “There is much work still to be done. . . . It’s my hope this likeness, carved in limestone, will remind all who enter this sacred space that the struggle for faith, to find hope, to stand against evil and hatred are struggles worth undertaking. It’s my hope his presence here, as long as this stone stands, inspires people to struggle for what’s best about humanity. While never forgetting the worst humans can do to one another.”
Leading an evening program about Wiesel’s legacy, historian Jon Meacham told audiences in the cathedral and online that the carving should be a beacon to something specific and also to something overarching: the failure of most Christian Americans to “say and do what should have been said and done in the face of evil” during the Holocaust, and the need in the modern day to “close the gap between our profession of ideals and the practice of those ideals.”
Speakers and panelists spoke about enduring antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism and “the perennial and pernicious forces that lead to genocide, hunger, oppression and injustice,” Meacham said. “We must pray America is ready to remember, ready to learn and ready to act. Elie Wiesel remembered. He learned, he acted.”
The bust sits about 10 feet in the air, in an arch doorway. The dedication, and an evening discussion program about Wiesel’s legacy, were organized by the cathedral, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
Cathedral stonemason Sean Callahan used medieval techniques to create the carving. He also did the depictions of Mother Teresa, Parks, Daniels and subjects of other sculptures throughout the cathedral. The original model was sculpted by North Carolina artist Chas Fagan, whose other works include the official White House portrait of former first lady Barbara Bush and statues of Ronald Reagan and Billy Graham at the U.S. Capitol.
Wiesel wrote dozens of books, was a professor at Boston University and the founding chairman of the Holocaust Museum, and won numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. He died in 2016.
Published : October 13, 2021
By : The Washington Post