WASHINGTON – They came by the hundreds, from Florida and Ohio, New York and Texas, passing through the same entrance at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum where two days earlier security officers shot a man who had gunned down one of their own.
The museum was closed Thursday in honor of the guard, Stephen T. Johns, who died from his wounds, and an avowed white supremacist has been charged.
For many visitors, the reopening Friday was an opportunity to make a statement of defiance against intolerance.
“We can’t let hatred win,” said William Dailey, a teacher at Jefferson Junior High School in Toledo, Ohio, who was chaperoning a school trip.
Toward the head of the line was Tammi Miller, 17, visiting Washington with her family from South Florida. Miller was in the museum Wednesday and was evacuated by a fire escape when the shooting began.
“It’s important to come back, because if you don’t, they win,” she said. “It’s a form of terrorism.”