Holocaust Memorial Plaza opens up on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The new Holocaust Memorial Plaza is now open on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

It was a year in the making.

"I stood here almost a year ago to the day before we started, and I told you we'd get this done," says David Adelman, Chairman for the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.

The multi-million dollar expansion of the Six Million Jewish Martyrs Statue was unveiled for all to see on Monday.

"As I look out at the finished product today, I have little doubt that this will be a place were thousands of people will learn the stories and lessons of the Holocaust for decades to come," says Steven Kessler, Treasurer of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.

The original statue was installed in 1964, making it the first public Holocaust memorial in North America.

Six pillars surround the site and contrast Nazi themes with American constitutional protections and values.

"The events of the Holocaust are especially difficult to recall and express, but continuous education is needed for children and adults alike," says Kessler.

"The Holocaust ended 73 years ago. But it's not ancient history," Adelman says.

The hope is for visitors to not only remember the tragedy but reflect on its lessons which include combatting hatred, prejudice, and intolerance.

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