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Anti-Semitic graffiti is a grim reminder

The Westhampton Beach High School is located on

The Westhampton Beach High School is located on Lilac Avenue in Westhampton Beach. Credit: Newsday / Erin Geismar

Growing up on eastern Long Island in the 1970s and ’80s as a Jewish child, I had my share of experience with anti-Semitism.

I would like to think that our East End community has evolved since then, and that our newer generations have embraced diversity and celebrate all cultures, religions and skin colors. I believed this so much that I chose to return to eastern Long Island and raise my family here.

The recent incident at Westhampton Beach High School, where a swastika and the words “Hitler Youth” were scrawled, is unfathomable at my children’s own school [“High school vandalism probed as hate crime,” News, April 7]. This has deeply shocked and saddened me.

Have people forgotten that during World War II, entire families were wiped out because of intolerance, ignorance and hatred? I cannot believe that I now have to talk to my children about these hateful messages.

No child should feel scared or alienated because of his or her religion. Each should feel proud to share his or her differences within the community. I hope our community will proactively make sure that all of our children understand what these awful symbols represent. This is not the time to be silent.

Michele Seitles, East Moriches

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