AFC Press Release
Speaker Boehner Press Release
Congressional leaders planted an Anne Frank Memorial Tree on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, April 30. The dedication took place at 3:00 pm at the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol. The event was hosted by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Speakers included Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Yvonne Simons, Executive Director of The Anne Frank Center, and Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans, among others.
More than any other building, The U.S. Capitol captures the American ideals of freedom and democracy. Home to both houses of Congress, the building has been at the heart of landmark legislation promoting tolerance and equality – including the 13thAmendment, which outlawed slavery; the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote; and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. As such, the building is a constant visual reminder that the country is not run by any one dictator or tyrant, but by and for the people.
Unsurprisingly, then, it is also the American people’s pulpit of sorts. In its front yard – The National Mall – millions have protested against various injustices, the most memorable gathering being the March on Washington in 1963, at which Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. At other times, people from all over the country have come together here to champion for women’s rights and speak out against the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.
Last but not least, the Capitol can be viewed as a living monument to the future of democracy, hosting presidential inaugurations every four years and also providing a space for the general public to pay respects to many former presidents, senators, as well as public heroes – like the civil rights icon Rosa Parks – who have all lain in state at the building. As a symbolic message of hope and justice, Anne’s tree is well at home on its grounds.