Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ann Frank Continues To Give, So Does Her Tree

Ann Frank left us her famous diary, which,  if you want to boil it down to its essence, is really an instructional booklet on how to love each other and why any kind of hate is bad.

Her diary made many references to a chestnut tree growing outside of the place in Amsterdam where she was hiding from the Nazis. It was pretty much her only connection to nature.
The remains of the chestnut tree from Ann Frank's diary
after it toppled in a 2010 storm. 
Here's an excerpt from Frank's diary, as written on Feb. 23, 1944, regarding the tree:

"Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs....From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at tgeh seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind."

The tree toppled during a storm in 2010, the victim of old age.

But just as reading Frank's diary remains helpful to humans to this day, that chestnut tree will also continue to give.

According to Huffington Post and other news sources, when the tree toppled, experts grabbed seeds from the tree so that new chestnut trees could grow in places that promote peace and human rights. 

Saplings from those seeds have started to grow, and 11 of those saplings will be planted at spots in the United States that celebrate justice and human dignity.

One of the saplings will go to the Childrens Museum of Indianopolis, which gets one because personnel and children there took care of the saplings since 2009 during a required U.S. Department of Agriculture quarantine of the trees.

Another will be planted this fall at Central High School in Little Rock, scene of a landmark desegregation moment in 1957.

Among the other places to get the saplings, according to the Ann Frank Center, US., are the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, the White House, Liberty Park (site of the World Trade Center attack in New York), Boston Common, schools in New York and California, and Holocaust centers in Washington, Idaho and Michigan.

It's nice to see the tree's legacy give comfort to people now and in the future, just as Frank keeps providing us knowledge and compassion to this day.

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