Three years after Governor John Kasich called for a Holocaust Memorial to be built on Statehouse grounds, it is now a reality. The memorial is dedicated to the many millions of lives touched by the Holocaust: the victims, the survivors, and the liberators.
Among those present at its dedication: a local man who knows first-hand the importance of never forgetting.
After 85 years of life, the memories that remain the sharpest can be those you wish you could forget. Murray Ebner will never forget being grabbed from the streets of Poland at the age of 13.
"In Krakow, Poland, I see so many people being shot, and a lot of people being hung by the neck," Ebner said. He would never see his parents or three brothers again. “I have no idea to this day. I have no idea what happened to them."
He'll never forget his time in four different concentration camps, his ID number tattooed on his arm. "B2992,” he recalls without hesitation. “That was my number from Auschwitz. Auschwitz and Birkenau."
Three years later, he would escape, returning home to realize his family was gone.
"There's no reason in the world why I had to survive. It had to be God's will."
On Monday, Ebner and thousands of others gathered in remembrance to dedicate a memorial designed by another son of Poland.
"I live in the shadow of the Holocaust because my parents are survivors,” said architect and designer Daniel Libeskind.
It is a memorial intended to tell a story. "It's a story that is so vast, and so harrowing," said Libeskind.
"People need to know,” said Ohio Governor John Kasich. “Our young people need to know about injustice and how it happened, and what we might be able to do as individuals to never let it happen again."
It is intended as a reminder of mankind's darkest days, and the work still to be done.
"Today the State of Ohio dedicates a significant and beautiful monument,” said Professor Deborah Lipstadt. “But it is a step, only a step, towards completing the work of eradicating prejudice and hatred."
When ignorance would truly be bliss, but cannot be allowed.
"I would like to forget very much,” said Ebner. “But I can never forget what happened to our family."
"We ask Lord these blessings: a deep memory so that we may never forget, the courage to confront the mystery of evil that still afflicts our world, and the resolve that never again will such a horror be perpetrated," said Bishop Frederick Campbell of the Columbus Diocese.