An Atlanta flower project that was started in memory of more than a million children who died during the Holocaust has gained worldwide momentum.
Since 2010, The Daffodil Project has organized annual plantings of thousands of daffodils in U.S. cities, and countries such as Israel, Germany, Lithuania, Japan and more. It is a living Holocaust memorial, The Daffodil Project founder Andrea Videlefsky said.
The project’s goal is to plant 1.5 million daffodils to honor and represent the same number of children who perished during the Holocaust. The project estimates 950,000 daffodils will have been planted across the globe by mid-January.
“With what’s going on in the world, our message is to remember the Holocaust and to actively bring that message to today’s world with a focus on preventing hatred and antisemitism, Videlfsky said. “We’re also supporting children who are suffering in the face of humanitarian crises in the world today.”
Videlfsky started The Daffodil Project through its parent organization, Am Yisrael Chai, a non-profit that provides Holocaust education and genocide awareness.
The daffodil was selected for the planting project to represent the strength and resilience of the human spirit, she said.
Credit: South on Main
Credit: South on Main
The flower’s color symbolizes yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. Yellow is the color of remembrance and daffodils represent hope for the future, the project states.
The plantings take place each year from October to January, and has included students participating in events at public and private high schools. A short ceremony is usually included with a Holocaust survivor who explains the meaning of the project.
In November, adult and teenage members of St. Ann’s Catholic Church and Congregation Etz Chaim planted 250 daffodil’s in a new garden at the church.
“When our community can come together bridging our faiths and bringing awareness to those currently suffering human rights crises throughout the world, this act of true partnership symbolizes hope for the future,” St. Ann’s Rev. Lamartine J. Eliscar said.
The Daffodil Project partnered with the civic organization, Central Atlanta Progress, in planting 400,000 daffodils located in parks and public gardens extending from the National Center for Civil and Human Rights on Ivan Allen Boulevard to The King Center on Auburn Avenue.
And the project is partnering with the City of Dunwoody to plant 5,000 daffodils at Brook Run Park on King Day, Jan. 15, Videlfsky said.
“The project makes us face head on the obligation we each have to uphold justice,” she added.