The experience of the EJI Memorial is like none other that I have experienced in my lifetime. After a fifteen-minute walk from the ticket office to the memorial, I was elated to step upon the grounds of the Peace and Justice Memorial Garden. When I entered the memorial, it was eye-opening to see how many people in America who had been lynched. I eagerly looked to find my home county, Lawrence County, Alabama, in which only one lynching had been recorded. Although it was less than most other counties in the state of Alabama, it was still a moment of disappointment to have lost just this one person to a lynching. As I walked around the memorial to view the thought-provoking monuments, texts, and narratives of information along with listening to other memorial visitors’ comments, my thoughts and prayers were that people get the message of the memorial. I believe the message is to learn about America’s history, preserve it so that we will never go back to the mistreatment of any human being.
As I walked towards the exit and passed the Peace and Justice Memorial Garden again, I felt the importance of the garden’s placement upon entry and exit which I believe is to share what you have learned with others, so the message of peace and justice will continue to grow in America to unite all people. I had a great experience, and I believe it’s a great memorial paying homage to those who were lynched with empowering messages throughout the memorial that may bring to our thoughts to ask ourselves, how do I (we) contribute to peace and justice within the world today?
I’m glad Montgomery, Alabama has the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and I hope people will continue to visit it to learn about the past yet move forth in peace and harmony with each other.
Many thanks and blessings to the EJI team and Bryan Stevenson, executive director, for the hard work and dedication to the establishment of the memorial.
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