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As city covers Nazi symbol found at Memorial Park, community hopes for awareness, dialogue

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 21:04:54-04

A swastika symbol burned into the grass at Memorial Park is the most recent example of Nazi symbols and literature showing up around Omaha and Lincoln.

"We are not surprised — I think it's something that we all talked about — we are not surprised that it's happening in our community, in our neighborhood," said Rene Harper.

RELATED: City to remove swastika from Memorial Park

These three ladies came to Memorial Park hoping to cover the vandalized area with flowers.

"We had an idea of putting a garden where the swastika was so we are not just covering it up with the same old stuff," Dr. Jenny Heineman said.

The city laid down new grass seed.

"Putting grass over it, soon people won't know what happened," Harper said.

They say, hopefully, these hate acts will spark dialogue amongst the city.

RELATED: Neo-Nazi propaganda found at three free libraries

"I would like to see more of a response from our elected officials, it's been pretty quiet and we don't want to see this hate crime covered up with more of the same," Harper said.

The Anti Defamation League says it's an opportunity to come together for better understanding.

"There's a lot of good opportunities for community education on antisemitism and biased and the development of alias," Mary-Beth Muskin said.

Letting hate groups know this behavior is not welcomed.

"Their ideas are not accepted here. We want them to be uncomfortable and to know that this can't be — and isn't — OK," Kaite Caughey said.

With an end goal of peace and togetherness.

"My hope is that some of the negativity and dialogue that has resulted from it, we can work harder towards being better listeners and get that civility back into the discussion," Muskin said.