JILLIAN AND HER BOYS, HOLDING
THE STAR CALLED "SCHINDLER'S LIST"
Minnesota blogger Jillian Curtis and her children are engaged in what I consider to be an extremely worthwhile project. Read about it in the article below, which I am reprinting from the Winona (MN) Daily News:
"Jillian Curtis doesn’t want her children to bring hate into the world.
So she and her sons, Jarrett, 10, and Josh, 11, are building a Holocaust memorial — their first major undertaking in their first month of homeschooling — to remember the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.
Curtis, 32, of Winona, and her sons have received nearly 500 stars in the mail, including one of their favorites, center, depicting Schindler's List, from artist Angela Matteson of Chicago. Curtis posted a request for stars, which each represent a Jewish life lost during the Holocaust, on her blog a month ago as a home-school project for the boys. The stars will be displayed as a memorial in their garden. The project is inspired by the movie “Paper Clips,” in which students at a Tennessee school, wanting to know what the number 6 million looks like, try to gather 6 million paper clips.
Instead of paper clips, the Curtises are asking people to send them stars.“We started with the Holocaust because that’s the world’s biggest tragedy,” Jillian said. “They need to learn acceptance and not to be bullies or start fights. I want them to be good people when they grow up.”
Jillian, 32, posted a request for stars, representing the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany, on her blog, http://www.blog-me-til-midnight.blogspot.com/, a month ago.
So far, about 500 stars have arrived at their home from as far away as Australia and China.
One, a blue card with a yellow Star of David on front, included this note: “What a wonderful thing you are doing! I designed my star to look like the sun in the sky because the brightness of those who died in the Holocaust still burns in my heart.”
Josh said thinking about the Holocaust makes him feel sad, and sometimes angry, because of all the children who died for no reason.
His favorite star so far is a cloth one, which is the biggest sent yet.
“(I was) wondering where the stars would come from, what they would look like,” he said. “I was hoping for a humongous one.”
For now, the family keeps the stars in a popcorn tin with planets and the words “Stories in the Sky” pictured on it.
This summer, Jillian’s husband, Robert, will help his kids build a wooden casing in the shape of a star, either a five-pointed star or a Star of David. They’ll put the stars inside and place the memorial in a flower garden next to roses.
Jillian said they don’t know whether they’ll make it to 6 million stars."
“We’ll see how far it grows,” she said.
(Added note: The stars now fill a Rubbermaid tub.)
Jillian had contacted me about two months ago and I pledged to make a star for the project. I had not seen pictures of the other stars at that point. My design was going to be very simple, because I am no artist. It was also going to be yellow, because I am very literal! Now that I have seen some contributions, I am awed by the beautiful designs. But I am still going to participate! It doesn't matter how elaborate or beautiful the design. It's the thought that counts, and recognizing these 6 million human beings whose lights were snuffed out too soon.
After I make my star I will publish a picture of it. I hope that those of you who read this post will consider making a star as well.
Go to Jillian's blog (link in the article above) to see other stars. For her postal address, email her at jillianmcurtis@yahoo. com.