I have had the pleasure of serving on the Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Committee for the past 3 years. The tree is located at the Southern Cayuga School District, behind the Emily Howland Elementary School. It is a direct descendant of the tree that grew outside of Anne Frank’s Secret Annex window. For Anne Frank, it was a vivid reminder that a better world was possible.
The Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Project was honored to welcome back Marion Blumenthal-Lazan and her husband, Nathaniel, to our sapling tree site on Friday, May 13, 2016. Marion and Nathaniel were in our area on a 9 day visit, in which they lectured at 10 separate school districts in Central New York. This is the 15th consecutive year that Marion and Nathaniel have lectured in our region, sharing their message of how to make this world a better place by promoting hope, respect, education, hard work, acceptance of others, courage, and the need for us all to be good to each other.
Marion’s visit was especially meaningful, as our tree site, created by Phil Donovan, contains references and images inspired by Marion. Eleven boulders surround the tree site, representing the number of Anne Frank trees given to the United States. There are also 4 small round boulders of the same type of stone placed among the other boulders. These four boulders reference Marion’s metaphor of the four perfect pebbles used in her book of the same name. Witnessing Marion walk around our tree site and search for the “four perfect pebbles” was a very meaningful and emotional experience for us all.
Marion was present at, and participated in, the planting ceremony of our sapling tree on June 12, 2013. She was also the keynote speaker at the “standing room only” ceremony held later that evening. You can view the video of the planting ceremony below:
Marion Blumenthal-Lazan travels internationally as a holocaust speaker. Over one million students and adults have listened to Marion’s lectures. You can visit her website at www.fourperfectpebbles.com.