“As the Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel warned years ago, to forget a Holocaust is to kill twice.”
― Iris Chang, The Rape of Nanking
This week, communities around the country will gather for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s annual Days of Remembrance. Observances to commemorate the Holocaust started this past Sunday, April 15 and go to Sunday, April 22, including a ceremony with survivors and liberators in the U.S. Capitol on April 19, Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah).
Why do we have days of Remembrance? First and foremost to honor the victims of the Holocaust. We also remember the survivors, the liberators and their families. Finally, we look back to remind the world that we must act when genocide reappears. Even as we observe Days of Remembrance this week, atrocities continue in Sudan, Syria, Burma and Congo. Abroad and at home, people are making sacrifices and dedicating their lives to ending such injustice. As Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel stated in a short speech about Aung San Suu Kyi, “we must let these people know that they are not alone.”
[youtube width=”680″ height=”376″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fhosz_0l99U[/youtube]
Joining the 2012 Days of Remembrance is easy:
- Watch the national ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda through an online webcast: http://www.ushmm.org/remembrance/dor/webcast/.
- Find and join an event near you by searching the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s event map: http://www.ushmm.org/remembrance/dor/eventmap/.
- If there are no events nearby, create your own! The museum offers, toolkits with CDs, DVDs and other resources to organize observances.
- Participate in a names reading ceremony, either in Washington, DC or from anywhere else online. If you don’t have someone specific to remember, help spread the stories of others using Facebook or the hastags #DaysofRemembrance and #2012DOR on Twitter.