By: Sharon Aron Baron
The floor of the State House went silent while Representative Jared Moskowitz (D-Coral Springs) spoke about the Holocaust in a bill he sponsored along with State Senator Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) to build a Holocaust memorial on the grounds of the Florida Capitol complex.
Florida is home to the second-largest surviving Holocaust population, and Moskowitz told the members of the House that while the greatest threat to the Jewish population may be Iran, the second is that soon there will be no more witnesses to the Holocaust. Without witnesses, he said there would be no one to testify as to what happened, and we would have to depend on museums and memorials along with stories and books. That is why the Holocaust memorial was so important.
“There are people with numbers on their arms like some sick dewey decimal system of death,” said Moskowitz. “If you have never met someone with a number tattooed on their arm, I implore you to meet with that person because those people will no longer exist.”
Making his speech during the last days of the 2016 legislative session, Moskowitz found this legislation deeply personal. His rousing speech earned him widespread praise from his constituents and a standing ovation on the Florida House of Representatives floor.
The House voted in favor of the memorial 115-1. Legislators have also set aside $100,000 as seed money in the State budget for the memorial. The bill (SB 716), which was passed unanimously a month earlier by the Florida Senate, now heads to Governor Rick Scott, where it waits for approval.
State Rep. Jared Moskowitz represents Tamarac, Coral Springs, Sunrise, and Plantation.
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