Sunday, April 15, 2007

LEST WE FORGET

April 15th through April 22nd

"Days of Remembrance"

Proclamation for commemoration in California, U.S.A.
by our Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.



Yom HaShoah

"Holocaust Remembrance Day"


"A Community Commemoration
In Words and Music Honoring
and Remembering Those Who
Survived and Those Who Perished"

This is a commemoration being held at Temple Beth Israel in my community later this evening. Perhaps there will be such commemorations in other communities, too.


Whenever I think about the Holocaust, World War II, my thoughts are immediately flooded with memories deeply engraved into my consciousness. I remember black and white newsreels shown at my local movie theater with vivid pictures of those who survived and some of those who did not. Some visuals similar to what I saw that so impacted this small elementary age child can be seen HERE.

I believe it's important that we adults make certain our children are capable of discerning prejudicial language from harmless thought expression whether in words, pictures i.e. cartoons, or simply by facial expression. The Broadway show "South Pacific" made a significant impression on me. The lyrics of one song in particular, "You Have To Be Carefully Taught," addressed far more than just racism by simply saying:

"You've got to be taught before it's too late,
before you are six or seven or eight,
to hate all the people your relatives hate,
you have to be carefully taught."

There are lessons I have learned from these and other experiences, as I grew older and formulated my personal beliefs and views of this world. I feel a sense of responsibility to share what I have learned with others who are willing to listen. One of the lessons resulted in my realization that contrary to what we all believed after World War II, that such could never ever happen again, this is sadly tragically not true. I've also come to realize and believe the truth in a quote often heard and generally attributed to Edmund Burke in various forms similar to this: "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."

This is my personal commemoration to those no longer with us, a promise to never forget, a reminder for all the rest of us today, and for all those of future generations of our responsibilities to ourselves and to each other.

4 comments:

  1. Excellent, Joared. I visited the Holocaust Museum in DC some years ago. We must never forget and we must make sure our children and grandchildren know, so that nothing like that will ever happen again.

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  2. I also thank you for your remembrance of Shoah. I have several friends (and a second cousin) who are Holocaust survivors. Knowing them as I do and knowing what they went through, the idea that there are despicable people around (including self-proclaimed "scholars"), who deny that the Holocaust ever happened, makes one wonder what motivates the deniers.

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  3. A beautiful post...thank you Joared.

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