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Add memorial to Holocaust victims at Statehouse site

April 12, 2012
Salem News

The head of the agency that oversees the Ohio Statehouse is upset about a bill approved by the General Assembly and signed into law last week by Gov. John Kasich. The measure calls for a memorial to victims of the Holocaust, on the Statehouse grounds.

Richard H. Finan, president of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, is upset his agency was not consulted about the proposal.

Finan has specific concerns, including where the memorial is to be placed, above an underground parking garage. The structure was "not built to withstand that kind of thing," he explained.

In addition, Finan has questioned whether the Holocaust memorial would fit in with the Civil War-era appearance of the Statehouse.

Obviously, Finan's agency should have been consulted. And his concern about whether the parking garage structure can bear the weight of the memorial should be investigated.

Another cause for worry is that other groups will come forward seeking memorials of other types at the Statehouse.

Finally, Finan's concern about the historic look of the Statehouse is genuine - and entirely understandable.

For all that, however, the memorial should be erected. As Kasich explained it, it would be an appropriate reminder of "man's inhumanity to man, best exemplified in the Holocaust."

A memorial that would not look out of place can be designed. A better site on the Statehouse grounds can be found, if necessary. Requests for other memorials in the future can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

We can think of few as important, significant, appropriate and necessary as a reminder to Ohioans of the horror that was the Holocaust. Some Ohioans - those who helped liberate German concentration camps and the few remaining survivors of the Nazi pogrom - understand what happened all too well. But for many, it is just a few pages in history books. Ohioans should erect the memorial to ensure the Holocaust never is forgotten.



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