Written by Wendy Karpel Kreitzman Friday, 09 October 2009 00:00
Thank you Manhasset! Thank you for standing by our side when Great Neck was faced with a hate group protest on Friday, Sept. 25. Our police and our public officials led a safe, strong yet silent, response. When we were told to “ignore,” we ignored, and that angry group from Kansas did not receive the heated response they had hoped for. We thank Manhasset for their support.
In last week’s issue of the Great Neck Record the Manhasset Clergy Association took out a full-page advertisement signed by a truly diverse group of houses of worship. With love and understanding, this ad from our friends in Manhasset stated: “At a time when some have chosen to pursue hatred, the Manhasset Clergy Association affirms our love for all men and women and expresses our commitment to stand side by side with them, as we affirm unity in the midst of our diversity.”
Reading this ad, I was so touched, so appreciative of such warmth, such empathy from our neighbors. This brought to mind a poem I had read once, so long ago, “First they came …” A little research revealed that the poem is attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller who lived in Germany during the days that led to World War II. I want to share these words with you.
“First they came …”
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
“Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist;
“Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew;
“Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
The Great Neck community thanks the Manhasset community and its religious leaders for speaking out for us!