Last week, the American flag was raised outside of the US Embassy in Cuba ending more than 50 years of estrangement between the two neighboring countries. Richard Blanco, a Cuban-American poet, who delivered the inaugural poem for President Obama’s second inauguration, was invited to read a poem at the Embassy ceremony.
In an interview prior to the ceremony, the poet used words that triggered a powerful association for me. Blanco said: …our charge is in some ways to honor our past and our parents’ stories and bring them forward…” Blanco went on to reflect on his artistic work –“ …in some ways I feel that much of my body of work has been, in a way …to heal my mother…” Those words grabbed me by the throat and brought tears to my eyes. For me, and I’m sure for those of us who are children of Holocaust survivors, Blanco’s words stir powerful emotions.