Mississippi Holocaust memorial gets $25K — plus 1.5M pennies

Uriel Heilman

(JTA) – A memorial in Mississippi to child victims of the Holocaust is getting a $25,000 boost from a Southern hospital network.

The planned memorial in Hernando, a city in northern Mississippi located about 30 miles south of Memphis, Tenn., will hold 1.5 million pennies donated by local schools and businesses to commemorate the approximately 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis.

The $25,000 gift to the Unknown Child Holocaust Remembrance Penny Project is from Baptist Memorial Health Care, The Associated Press reported.

Designed by architect Doug Thornton of Architectural and Engineering Resources for Construction, the memorial will feature a spiral path leading to six wall sections forming a fractured Star of David that will be covered by the 1.5 million pennies. Inside the star will be a bronze sculpture designed by Rick Wienecke called “The Unknown Child.”

The project’s anticipated cost is about $2 million.

Thornton said the project has yet to obtain the land on which to build the memorial.

“Like many things associated with Israel and the Jewish people, land always seemed to be an issue, isn’t it?” Thornton told JTA. “We’re waiting for that promised land.”

Students at Horn Lake Middle School came up with the idea for the memorial and raised the 1.5 million pennies in the 2009-10 school year while studying the Holocaust.