ALEXANDRIA — Alexandria’s Holocaust Memorial should be standing tall in less than three months.
The memorial, including an 18-foot-tall, black granite obelisk, will be dedicated Nov. 10. The obelisk will be at the memorial’s center. The ground around it will be in a brick pattern with an imprinted Star of David. A circular brick wall will surround it.
“I’m excited,” said Rabbi Arnie Task, one of several community leaders who have pushed for the memorial. “Everything has gone so well. It’s been wonderful to see.”
The height of the obelisk was chosen because of the significance of the number 18 in Jewish tradition. The number 18 is identified with the symbol “Chai,” meaning life.
Petron LLC has started work on the $100,000 project located near Rapides Regional Medical Center. The obelisk is expected to be placed in the ground Sept. 25.
The Nov. 10 dedication date was chosen in remembrance of Kristallnacht — “the Night of Broken Glass.” On Nov. 9-10, 1938, more than 250 synagogues were burned, thousands of businesses looted and dozens of people killed in a wave of violence against Jewish people in Germany and Austria.
So far, about $88,000 has been raised to cover the project’s cost.
“The response from the community has been so heartwarming,” Task said.
Incorporated into the design are the poem “First They Came … ” and recognition of the role the area played in training some of the soldiers who would liberate concentration camps during World War II.
“Hopefully, this will be a teaching opportunity for parents and teachers to come with their children and students,” Task said.