DELARIA, BETAZED — While Betazoids may have a reputation for being carefree and quick to forgive, memory and emotion both run deep on Betazed. Few large-scale tragedies have ever struck this peaceful world, although the Occupation by Dominion forces during the War is the significant exception.
We have already spilt much ink on this subject over the twenty-three years since those days, most notably the famous and controversial autobiography of the Vorta Overseer Nardhal Three, ‘Things I Did for the Founders’. Starfleet Academy opened a Campus on Betazed shortly after the Occupation as a part of the sweeping restoration efforts carried out during that time.
Now, a generation later, the Occupation Memorial is opening its doors within the Campus’ expansive Visitor’s Centre.
Taking up much of the Centre’s Third Floor, the Memorial is a sombre and powerful space, its dark violet décor strongly evoking Dominion designs. Many lit alcoves surround the walls, each containing an artefact from the dark days of the War: a cracked Starfleet combadge, a lost child’s doll, Dominion propaganda.
Dominating the room, however, is the duranium statue at its centre, shaped as a lit torch atop a pillar. Snaking around the column’s circumference in one long, spiralling line are the tiny names of the many who died or vanished, victims of the Occupation.
This project was largely driven by the efforts of a formalised group of Betazoid Cadets called the Betazed History Society. Select few are old enough to remember the War first-hand.
“Some of us may not have lived through these events,” the Society’s president, Rixe Adulu said to reporters, “but we’ve all been told the stories by our parents, by everyone of that generation. Of course, we know how it made them feel, and how it still makes many of them feel. That’s the principal reason we wanted to set up the Memorial, really. The pain is still very real for many of the people who went through it, and we hope the Memorial will serve as a place of reflection and recognition.”
Donated exhibits have come from many places, and many were in storage in the Xenology Department, but several have arrived from private individuals and collectors. The organisers are truly grateful for the generosity extended into building the Memorial.
The Betazed History Society is keenly aware eventually, there will come a day where the Occupation exists only in historical records, third-hand stories and sites like the Memorial.
As Adulu put it, “Built to commemorate the past, designed to persist into the future.”
The Occupation Memorial opened last month. Other attractions of the Visitor’s Centre include its extensive Art Gallery, an exhibit on Shuttlecraft designs through the centuries, and the famous café Sacred Chalice of Rixx.
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