It’s difficult for many people to imagine the scale of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust, as they are far removed from life today. However, for Holocaust survivors and their loved ones, the memories of the past are often far too close. It’s because of the horrors of the past that it’s more important than ever to ensure those horrible acts are never forgotten and never repeated. Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah, is observed each year in honor of the approximately 6 million Jews who perished as a result of the actions of Nazi Germany during World War II. In anticipation of Yom HaShoah, the residents and team members of The Legacy Willow Bend will pause in remembrance of those lost during a special ceremony to dedicate the senior living community’s daffodil garden on Sunday, April 28 at 1:15 p.m. Local Troop 380 Eagle Scout Seth Dauber planted the garden as a gift to the community for his project to earn his rank as an Eagle Scout.
“As a Jewish-sponsored community, we understand the importance of sharing meaningful observances like Yom HaShoah with our residents,” said Laura Levy, executive director of The Legacy Willow Bend. “A few of our residents are survivors or have family who were impacted, and we believe it’s important for all of us to remember those who were lost and those who survived so we never forget what happened. Seeing young people like Seth Dauber who are doing their part to learn from the past and carry forth a legacy of kindness and hope reminds all of us there is good in the world and that the atrocities of the past will not become a part of our future.”
Dauber began the nearly two-year process of planning and executing the creation of the garden, which included preparing the beds and the bulbs with the help of The Legacy Willow Bend maintenance team. He decided to contribute to The Daffodil Project, a national program to build a Living Holocaust Memorial by planting 1.5 million daffodils around the world to commemorate the 1.5 million children who were senselessly murdered in Nazi-occupied Europe. The project was immensely meaningful for Dauber, who is Jewish and was driven to do something special for the Jewish community.
“When I started working on my project, I knew that I wanted it to be meaningful for the Jewish community and honor those impacted by the Holocaust,” said Dauber. “It’s important for those of my generation to learn more about our history and to understand it so the past is not repeated. I’m excited to see the project completed and happy to see the number of flowers that bloomed this spring. It was a big endeavor, and seeing the outcome is rewarding.”
The community will gather together for the special ceremony to dedicate the garden and to recognize Dauber for selecting The Legacy Willow Bend as the location to implement this meaningful and lasting project. Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor will lead the ceremony and commemorate the event and family members of survivors will share stories. Rivka Altman will be one of those individuals, sharing the story of her grandfather, Mike Jacobs, who survived the Holocaust and went on to play an instrumental role in founding the Dallas Holocaust Museum. The ceremony will highlight the importance of remembering and what it means to have a living memorial and never forgetting.
“It was an honor for our community to be selected and join in making the garden a reality,” said Rivae Campo, volunteer coordinator for The Legacy Senior Communities and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. “We enjoyed having Seth on campus as he prepared the garden and are humbled by his dedication to ensuring the memory of those affected by the Holocaust. We hope that by commemorating the garden and sharing the impact Seth has had on our community, others will be inspired to think of ways to better their communities and our world.”