Anne Frank Sapling Planting

The sun shone brightly this past Wednesday, June 12, on which would have been Anne Frank’s 84th birthday, had she lived. The setting was on the beautiful grounds of the Emily Howland Elementary School in Aurora, New York, close-by scenic Lake Cayuga in Central New York. The occasion was the planting of one of the 11 Chestnut saplings grown from the original chestnut tree upon which Anne Frank was able to view during her many months in hiding before she and her family were arrested by the Nazis and sent to concentration camps. Anne died of typhus in Concentration Camp Bergen-Belsen in March of 1945, but her story lives on forever in the hearts and minds of millions throughout the world. 

Ten other chestnut samplings have been planted in other areas of the country, including the White House, Liberty Park in New York City, commemorating 9/11, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Washington State Holocaust Resource Center, Boston Common, Central High School, Arkansas, the Holocaust Memorial Center, Michigan, the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, and the William J. Clinton Presidential Center, Arkansas. 

I was privileged to be the key note speaker at a fully-packed auditorium of students and community members, and completed my talk with the following prayer, hope and wish:

May the roots of our Anne Frank Chestnut Sapling grow deep and strong
May its leaves give shade 
in a troubled world
May the sight of this lovely tree
Give us the understanding and desire
To be kind, respectful, and tolerant towards one another.

Photo bottom of page is of Debbie Lampman, local aborist and a member of the Southern Cayuga Sapling Committee. Other members of this committee include Patrick Jensen, Southern Cayuga School District Superintendent, Bill Zimpher, who wrote the application, Phillip Donovan who designed the site, Frank Benenati, Bernard Degraw, Sandra Groth, Deb & Jeff Lampman, Dana Mandel, Marilyn Mann, Cathy Mullarney, Meghan Picciano, Kathryn Stiadle, Kellie Stiadle, Laurie Waldron, George Welch, and Bill & Mary Ann Whiffen.

I thank the committee for having given me the opportunity to have participated in this unique, historic and meaningful event. 
Hugs, Marion

Please click to read further about this day’s unique happening as reported in the Auburn Citizen.