WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- Members of Congress marked Yom HaShoah -- Holocaust Remembrance Day -- with a ceremony on Capitol Hill Wednesday, dedicating a new tree in honor of Anne Frank.
A sapling, a cut from a chestnut tree that once stood outside the window of the Amsterdam apartment where Anne and her family hid for two years and where she wrote her famous Diary, was planted on the West Front lawn of the Capitol Wednesday afternoon.
The dedication ceremony, a somber event held among the likenesses of some of America's greatest in Statuary Hall, paid tribute to a girl who died at the age of 16 but whose legacy is held in the highest regard.
"This sapling, although tiny now, will permanently stand as a reminder of the ideals that Anne stood for and that she held dear," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who sponsored the tree.
Leadership from both parties, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke, as did Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans, who said Anne's story was a reminder that all people must be vigilant against complacency toward injustice.
The Capitol sapling is one of dozens promulgated from the original chestnut tree that survived more than 170 years, despite moth and fungus infections, until a windstorm destroyed it in August 2010. Eleven of the saplings have or will be planted around the United States, given to organizations "with a demonstrated commitment to upholding Anne's vision for a peaceful, more tolerant world."