LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Former President Bill Clinton recognized on Friday the importance of teaching new generations about human rights and past injustices as part of the new exhibit honoring Anne Frank at the Clinton Presidential Library.
The former president helped present a sapling from the tree of where Anne Frank's family hid from the Nazis during World War II that will be planted outside the Clinton Library. It represents freedom and links it to history here in Arkansas.
The reason for doing this was simple, "To keep the story and lessons of Anne Frank's life alive," said Clinton.
More than 600 students from schools across central Arkansas attended the event. Clinton stressed the importance of the dedication to the students. "The purpose of things like this, is so these children, who can't have memories, will have knowledge of history."
The Anne Frank Foundation gave 11 saplings to areas across the country. Little Rock received two, one at the Presidential Library and another at Little Rock Central High School.
Professor John Kirk from the University of Arkansas of Little Rock understands why both pieces of history can be linked. "They think of the 1957 school crisis, and therefore they think of civil rights," said Kirk. "Arkansas is associated in their minds with civil rights because of the iconic event that unfolded right here in the city."
According to Clinton, both historic events, iconic in their own ways, are represented through this living reminder, "our common humanity matters more than our interest in differences."