Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

April 3, 2013

Symbol of peace blooms again at Children's Museum

INDIANAPOLIS — The horse chestnut tree that served as a symbol of inspiration and peace for Anne Frank during World War II lives on through a rare sapling to be planted at the world's largest children's museum.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis will celebrate the planting of the descendant of the famous tree at 10 a.m. April 14.

"This is an incredible honor and an opportunity for us to continue Anne Frank's legacy," said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. "We hope to encourage families to be tolerant of others and inspire them to be strong no matter what obstacles confront them. This tree serves as a living reminder of hope and peace ... traits we also inspire through our permanent exhibit, The Power of Children."

The Children's Museum sapling is one of just 11 derived from the 170-year-old horse chestnut tree that will be planted at key locations across the United States. The Anne Frank Center USA chose the sapling sites based upon their historic significance and commitment to continuing education about tolerance.

In a contributing partnership, The Anne Frank Center USA and The Children's Museum of Indianapolis are also creating a teaching and discovery website. Launching in the spring, the site will share content from each location, show how locales are using the sapling project to advance tolerance and stimulate public dialogue among educators, elected officials, and civic leaders about contemporary issues of intolerance. 

"We are excited that we can now move forward with planting the saplings and launching a national education initiative called Confronting Intolerance Today: Lessons from Anne Frank. As the saplings take root, they will become living symbols of justice and tolerance in America for many years to come," said Yvonne Simons, executive director of The Anne Frank Center USA. "The message of tolerance will spread from these 11 communities across the country, joining these historical examples of hatred and discrimination with contemporary issues."

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