As temperatures dropped and snow fell on Friday afternoon, almost 15 volunteers gathered at a patch of grass on the Lory Student Center Plaza to place several hundred colorful flags in the frozen ground for the annual Field of Flags event.
Each tiny flag â€” which represents 5,000 of the 11 million lives lost in the
Holocaust â€” will remain on the Plaza through Friday as part of the 15th annual Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week.
â€œThis year was pretty profound with the color of flags contrasted against the snow,â€ said Rabbi Allison Peiser, Hillel campus director at CSU. â€œItâ€™s just unfathomable to actually imagine how many people died.â€
Field of Flags marks the beginning of the awareness week, which is sponsored by the Hillel Center, Students for Holocaust and Genocide Awareness, the Associated Students of CSU and the Association for Student Activity Programming.
â€œItâ€™s something people see every year,â€ said veterinary medicine student and awareness week volunteer Jennie Cohen. â€œThey stop, they look and they read the sign.â€
Each flag is divided by color, with nine different colors representing the groups of people targeted in the Holocaust. Three signs around the perimeter of the lawn list the amount of people killed.
â€œI was here around the same time last year to visit, and this was the first thing I saw,â€ said undeclared freshman Sarah Constantine. â€œItâ€™s just so crazy that so many people died under one personâ€™s rule.â€
Throughout the week, several free events to promote holocaust and genocide awareness are slated to take place, including a survivor panel, a litany of martyrs, two speakers, a movie showing and a memorial service.
Senior Reporter Erin Udell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.