Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gunman Opens Fire At Holocaust Museum


About ten years ago I took my son Michael to the Holocaust Museum. Like everyone else I had learned about the Holocaust, had seen some documentaries about the Holocaust, and of course read the Diary of Ann Frank.

When I first entered it was academic. Try to learn more about what happened how such a horrific series of events could have ever come to be. You could be somewhat removed as you read about laws and proclamations. Easy to say, well this could never happen again, would never happen again. Then the further you walked through the museum the more the weight of the atrocities, the people who's lives were cruelly snuffed out by a dangerous regime.

At one point you had to walk into a cattle car like the ones that the Germans used to transport Jews and other "undesirables" off to labor camps. I had only just stepped foot into the car when I could scarcely catch my breath. The weight on my chest was pressing down on me and I almost melted down in a full-blown panic attack. I could almost smell the fear as it closed down upon me.

I had to move. I had to get out of there and I at least had that opportunity. Just as I was coming to the end of the museum I saw the shoes in piles. Piles and piles of shoes. Once upon a time each of those shoes were worn by a human being and that's when the tears began flowing because I could choke them back no longer. Michael, only a fourteen year told kids looked at me and could scarcely croak out the words "Mom I can't stay here. I have to leave." Tears were streaming down his face.

People talk about a moving experience but I can honestly say no museum, no exhibit, had ever effected me the way the Holocaust Museum had. Now today the Museum has been touched by tragedy.

A gunman entered the museum shortly before 1 p.m. ET carrying a "long gun," but that it's unclear whether he was carrying a rifle or a shotgun. He shot one security guard and then two other security guards returned fire, wounding the shooter.

The gunman has been identified as James Von Brunn, a man with apparent links to the white supremacist movement. Von Brunn was president of his college fraternity, SAE. He served as PT-Boat captain, USNR, during WW2, earning 4-battle stars and a Commendation Ribbon. His early business career was in NYC as copywriter, art-director and film producer; later as a real-estate broker; and lastly as a writer-artist.

A security guard shot in an exchange of gunfire Wednesday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has died of his injuries.
Museum officials identified the guard as 39-year-old Stephen T. Johns of Temple Hills, Md. Johns, a special police officer, was a six-year veteran of the museum. In an e-mail to the Associated Press, director Sara Bloomfield says he "died heroically in the line of duty."

What a sick act of an extremely sick individual. He was a racist of the worst sort and you have to wonder how he feels having non-whites working around the clock to keep him alive. Does he then refuse their help? Does his racism then become a barrier for him? Is his doctor an African-American? Perhaps his nurse is Jewish. If he gets any transfusions does he request "White Blood only please?" Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick!!!!!

Here's an update on that whole contest thing. Upon reading my second email the promotions people absoulutely understood how I could have been confused. She told me that if the contest hadn't had that clause in the rules she would have loved to award me the prize. She appreciated my honesty. Well maybe Karma will get me back. Either it will bring me bad Karma because I entered the sweep in the first place of good Karma for coming clean so quickly.

I also received a weird email today. I was notified I won the DVD "Air Bud" today. I always look to see how much something is worth and that's when I noticed that the contest had ended back in April. Now that wouldn't really be such a big suprise except it was a blog contest and usually they have quick turn arounds. Usually they tell you that you've won within about 48 hours and then give you 48-72 hours to respond. Not this time. I emailed her back to tell my mailing information. I know some people HATE, HATE, HATE, blog contests but I love them. You seem to have a better chance of winning them and you usually get your prize pretty quickly.

Here are the blog contests I entered:

Prize: Insignia 7.0-Megapixel Digital Camera and Rocketfish 2MP Autofocus Webcam.

Prize: Insignia 7.0-megapixel digital camera and Rocketfish 2MP Autofocus Webcam.

Prize: Four gift certificates for Haagen-Dazs Five Ice Cream and Tote Bag.

Prize: Creative Labs Vado pocket video camera.

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