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Inked forever with love

The children and grandchildren of their elders want the stories told and remembered - and so the descendents carry a permanent reminder of these stories of horror and redemption:  tattoos. Not just any tattoo, but the same number as their elders were inked with by Nazis at the death camps during WWII.

“We are moving from lived memory to historical memory,” noted Michael Berenbaum, a professor at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles who is among the foremost scholars of the memorialization of the Holocaust. “We’re at that transition, and this is sort of a brazen, in-your-face way of bridging it.”

Our families carry stories told at holiday time – often stories of pranks or romance or successes, but these stories are ones of darkness and hope and courage and freedom. Stories descendents honor, stories they remember and share and bear witness to with their own bodies.

Stories all of us, no matter our heritage, must never, ever forget.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.