Remembrance

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Friday, December 13, 2019

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A France in Turmoil Weeps for a Symbol of Paris’s Enduring Identity. For centuries, Notre-Dame cathedral has enshrined an evolving notion of what it means to be French. As smoke and flames wafted into the sky on Monday, the symbolism was hard to miss. Notre-Dame has occupied the heart of Paris for the better part of a millennium, its twin medieval towers rising from the small central island wedged between the storied left and right banks. Now, France is burning.

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 New Zealand Crying

New Zealand Picks Up the Pieces After the Worst Massacre in Its History.  New Zealand’s low-slung second city was cloaked in mourning, shops shuttered and residents zombified, struggling to comprehend the mass shooting that claimed 50 lives — the worst massacre in the history of this nation of five million. Police continued to sweep for evidence outside the Al Noor mosque, where a lone gunman killed 41 people, live-streaming his barbarous crimes in ghastly detail. Seven more people were gunned down at a mosque on the other side of the city in the suburban Linwood neighborhood. One more died in hospital, where another 48 wounded are still receiving care, two in a critical condition. Children are among them.

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Viking Longboat on Fire

On Tuesday January 29, 2019, Europe’s biggest fire festival Up Helly Aa lit up the sky as Lerwick, in far nothern Scotland's Shetland islands, celebrated the Vikings who once ruled there. The event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of every January, and now attracts visitors from all around the world. While it starts with a morning parade through the snow, it’s at night that the festival is at its most enchanting, and when its strange costumes and customs come alive.  As seen above, a replica Viking longboat is set alight during the Up Helly Aa festival in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, far northern Scotland.

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Aristedes de Sousa Mendes

Anyone who has seen “Casablanca” knows the connection between Portugal and World War II refugees. But few know the story of the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who in 1940 saved tens of thousands of lives only to be punished for this heroism by his own government. As we mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, we should honor this man who engaged in what one historian called “perhaps the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.”

 

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Haym Solomon Patriot 

Haym Salomon (April 7, 1740 – Jan. 6, 1785) was a Polish-born American Jewish businessman and political financial broker who immigrated to New York City from Poland during the period of the American Revolution. He helped convert the French loans into ready cash by selling bills of exchange for Robert Morris, the Superintendent of Finance. In this way he aided the Continental Army and was possibly, along with Morris, the prime financier of the American side during the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain.