By: Leah Lange, Visitor Services Associate –
I joined the staff at HMC almost two years ago as a front desk visitor receptionist. It has been an amazing journey to work alongside such dedicated and talented people! It has also been an extreme privilege to meet our volunteers, docents and our very special survivors. Each one gives freely of his or her time and energy to communicate the story of the Holocaust to the thousands of visitors to our museum.
Although we work in different areas of HMC, from building maintenance to exhibit construction, from education to programming, the staff is unified in their mission. We must never let the world forget the tragedy and the horror of genocide. That is the raison d’être behind every staff member. That’s what gets us up on a snowy Michigan morning to drive on a congested 696 freeway to come to work.
But even the most dedicated staff members can get caught up in the daily routine and the paperwork. I find myself walking past the box car in our front lobby without a second thought. It used to arouse emotions of horror and pity but now it is the elephant in the room. That’s where you enter the scene, dear visitor.
When I greet you at the desk and see the anticipation on your faces, when I see your desire to know the truth despite the pain, when I see the tears on your cheeks as you leave, then you awaken in me those feelings I had on my first visit to HMC. You gently tear off the blinders over my eyes and I once again see the museum as it should be viewed. Thank you, dear visitor, for the gift of clarity. I hope you have gained as much from your experience as I have gained from yours.