Thursday, May 05, 2005

Never forget

Zach and I attended a ceremony at our synagogue this evening to commemorate Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

He sang with his school choir while other children read off the names and ages of some of the victims. Never mind that the sheer number of victims, 6 million murdered by the Nazis, would take years to read off. The numbers are too enormous to comprehend, and time does nothing to change that.

What stuck in my mind was that each child had a story, a life, a world. In all cases, they were brutally cut short by individuals who, driven by hatred, decided they had no right to exist.

It can happen again if we let it. But by continually shining the light on its roots, we stand a fighting chance of avoiding the mistakes made two generations ago, when thew world stood by for too long and did nothing.

Tonight, Holocaust survivors and their families participated in the ceremony, no doubt opening old wounds as they recalled their own experiences during that time of incomprehensible hell. But I couldn't help but feel encouraged that my child and his friends were learning the lessons of the past so that our future will be somewhat less stained.

Update - Readings: The Toronto Star's Rosie DiManno is in Poland to cover the 60th anniversary commemoration ceremonies. As always, she is riveting in her prose:

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