ATLANTIC CITY - What Rabbi Gordon Geller called "the first concrete step" in the creation of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Holocaust Memorial took place this morning with the unveiling of a sign detailing the winning design.
The unveiling of the sign, funded by the Atlantic City Special Improvement District, marks the first new addition to the Boardwalk pavilion between Kentucky and New York avenues that is planned to be turned into a memorial by 2013.
"It is heartwarming to witness this congregation of distinguished clergy and concerned citizens," said Geller, memorial chairman and rabbi of Temple Emeth Shalom in Margate, "who made the effort to be counted and to observe Yom Ha-Shoah (Holocaust Memorial Day).
"These few miles of Boardwalk constitute possibly the most trafficked pedestrian thoroughfare in the nation, and today we are witnessing the very first concrete step in fulfilling the vision of our mandate," he said.
The new sign features an artists' rendition of the winning design, "Fractured Landscapes," chosen in December by a panel of architects in New York. Architects Patrick Lausell and Paola Marquez, of Somerville, Mass., described the design as a "fractured landscape and a river of light (that) stitch together disjointed surfaces, expressing our hopes for peace."
Several modifications are being made to the final design, Geller said, including flags, red lighting, an inscription wall and video areas.
The sign was unveiled by Geller, Mayor and Honorary Memorial Chair Lorenzo Langford and Chip Forth, of Ventnor, the grandson of Nadine Boggs Carpenter, the Atlantic City church leader, businesswoman and social activist for whom the current Boardwalk pavilion is named. A plaque honoring Carpenter will be added to the wall of the monument.
Fundraising for the memorial will continue as the organization applies for the proper approvals, Geller said.
"We appeal to all those near and far to want to be able to join with us, hand in hand and heart in heart, in testifying to the ceremonial inscription being added to the wall," Geller said. "The inscription will read, ‘Out of the ashes of genocide and Holocaust, this Messianic work arises: mankind becomes stronger in broken places.'"
Contact Steven Lemongello: