prayer of the park

George Madura, a Jew from Curaçao,
and an only child,
fought the Nazis as part of the Dutch resistance
and died at Dachau in 1945.

His parents established a children’s park
in his memory—
and in honor of children,
saying he wanted what all children want—

peace.

All proceeds of the park actually
continue to support children’s charities.

Maduradom is the park
in Den Haag, southwest of Amsterdam,
and it consists of miniature models
of famous buildings and scenes
from around the Netherlands
(1.25 to scale)—
complete with moving trams and trains,
canal boats and airplanes.

These days a magnetic card
(included with your pass and map)
allows for a more interactive experience.
You swipe your card
at kiosks positioned around the park
and read about the scene you see—
its history, its relevance, a story about it.
Sometimes you might watch a video,
and are often invited into some activity
related to what you’re seeing.
It’s educational, interesting and fun,

and children enjoy feeling big.

But to watch my children play
in a park in which I played,
now so many many years ago,
was to pray a poignant prayer for them—
for my children—
for all children—
for our future—

an old prayer—
an appropriate prayer in this place of play
established by grieving parents—

peace.

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