At the end of January every year, we remember the millions of people who lost their lives, or had them changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is the 27th January, the anniversary date of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Thousands of events take place nationwide on or around this date each year and Kettering Borough Council will mark the day with a flag-raising ceremony on Sunday, 22nd January – further details are below.
HMD is not only about commemorating past genocides and honouring those who died, but about standing with those who survive, and the theme of this year’s HMD is “How can Life Go On?”. The after-effects of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides continues to bring up challenging questions and issues for individuals, communities and nations.
We need to think about and learn from the past to create a safer, better future.
For the survivor death is not the problem. Death was an everyday occurrence. We learned to live with Death. The problem is to adjust to life, to living. You must teach us about living.
The Mayor of the Borough of Kettering, Cllr Scott Edwards, will host a flag-raising ceremony on Sunday, 22nd January to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2017. Following the flag-raising ceremony there will be readings, poems and prayers in the Council Chamber, and refreshments will be served afterwards.
The ceremony will take place in front of the Municipal Offices on Bowling Green Road in Kettering at 2pm. Members of the public are warmly invited to attend, and further details can be obtained by contacting Simone Smith at the council. Simone can be reached by telephone on 01536 534272 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information can be found out about HMD from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, a charity setup by the government to promote and support HMD.
HMD is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented. We’re fortunate here in the UK; we are not at risk of genocide. However, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. There is still much to do to create a safer future and HMD is an opportunity to start this process.