The Butterfly in the Park
The Story of the Permanent Butterfly Memorial Monument in Grand Park
By Joy Glunt
Once upon a time, in 1998, a very wise teacher asked her students if they would like to make paper butterflies in memory of all the children who were killed in the Holocaust.
They did…and so it happened…but not before people all over the world got involved and helped her small class make over a million five hundred thousand paper butterflies.
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, they spread the butterflies on a field and remembered every single child. They wrote and sang songs for the children. They read poetry by a child who had suffered in the Holocaust. They remembered.
Some years later, one of the teachers who helped, wrote a book IN THE PRESENCE OF BUTTERFLIES, about that project. In so doing, she got the idea to make a permanent Butterfly Memorial Monument in memory of all the children who had lost their lives in the Holocaust.
In 2012, she gathered some friends together who liked the idea, and they planned to gather funds to build the permanent Memorial Monument in the shape of a 6×8 foot limestone and steel butterfly and put it in a park where parents, children, teachers, students and other visitors to the park could see the butterfly and remember for all time what can happen if ever again the world gets too filled with bullying, jealousy, hatred and denying others the right to exist.
The teacher/author then asked the City Fathers for a space to put the butterfly in Grand Park and they agreed, and everyone was happy about that. But, soon after, the world went dark with foreign war, very hungry children, sick children, and wounded warriors—hearts, bodies, and minds so filled with need— and it was then hard to gather funds for the Butterfly in the park. However, the Permanent Butterfly Memorial Monument Team did not give up. While helping others they also kept working to build the Permanent butterfly in the Park. Three years later, when the team counted they had received in grants and donations almost enough to build the 6’x8’ limestone and steel Permanent Butterfly Memorial Monument in the Grand Park. …….in memory of the children who lost everything…their homes, their parents, their lives, everything but their precious souls that live as surely as the yellow butterflies that sometimes follow us.
We erected the Holocaust Memorial to remember the Million, five hundred thousand children and their families who were killed in the Holocaust. We plan to do that with the butterfly monument in the Park and an educational program designed to prevent future atrocities like the systematic genocide of six million Jews and others by the Nazis. We seek to educate parents, teachers and students about the inhumanity of the Holocaust in the hope that such evil never happens again.
This Holocaust Memorial honors the brave Holocaust Survivors, the Rescuers who gave their lives to rescue children from the Holocaust, and our brave Soldier Liberators who fought–and many died–to rid the world of the hatred that was the Holocaust.