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The Stolpersteine Project: World's Largest Memorial

Given the ubiquitous deaths, both foreign and domestic, resulting from the numerous war initiatives (War on Terror, War on Drugs, War on Poverty etc.), perhaps we could emulate German artist Gunter Demnig's Stolpersteine in America?

The Stolpersteine Project was conceived by Demnig as a memorial to the victims of National German Socialism of the Hitler era. From Wikipedia, stolperstein (in the singular) is the German word for 'stumbling block'. They are typically installed into walkways near where the victims lived or where they were deported.

They commemorate individuals – both those who died and survivors – who were consigned by the Nazis to prisons, euthanasia facilities, sterilization clinics, concentration camps, and extermination camps, as well as those who responded to persecution by emigrating or committing suicide.

Even more compelling, these stolpersteine help the youth from the present generation encounter their history in a very real way that is oft relegated to lowest priority of experience. It has been documented that "50% of all Germans under the age of 25 do not know what the Holocaust is."


Indeed, in America it has already eluded the minds of the youth as to the origins of the various wars that are underway and perhaps taken for granted that at one time in our history that war was not an endless national campaign but rather a deliberate act of Congress with a finite ways and means. In a similar way, maybe we can bring home the chorus of tragedy in a concrete way that would dislodge, even momentarily, the popular culture distractions that pervade the lives of all of us?

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