Nebraska’s Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony will be Sunday, May 1st. Event Committee Organizer Pam Gannon says it is also our nation’s annual Commemoration Day of Remembrance.
“Commemoration is a time to remember the survivors of the Holocaust but also the lessons of the Holocaust and how to fight apathy and indifference. And to honor those who have really taught us important lessons with the way they lived their life in spite of all of it.”
Gannon says survivors of the Holocaust and those who liberated camps and fought during WWII are urged to come and share their stories with others.
“That is one of the reasons why we try each year to have the survivors with us as long as we can because we know there will be a day that won’t be a reality but it is important for people in the community and our students have the opportunity to have a chance to meet these amazing people.”
The ceremony will be at 3 pm at the Nebraska State Capitol Rotunda. Gannon says this is an appropriate setting for this event.
“Since the Holocaust is a state supported action of murder against not only the Jews but six million other people but it was government that changed the laws that made it happen. That is another reason we always try to have it at the Capitol because it is the center of our state government. We always try to have a legislative representative and somebody else involved in our government to represent and support that our government is to fight prejudices and unfairness within our world and culture. We recognize that our leaders do want this to be a country that we fight for everyone’s rights and not just the privileged.”
The event includes music, poetry, candle lighting vigils to remember those who died, in memory of liberators and a candle of hope for the future. The guest speaker is Rick Hirschhaut, Executive Director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
There are two additional community events open to the public. Prior to the commemoration at the Capitol, Heartland Holocaust Education Fund will be presented with the Ne. Land Association Award at the Holocaust Memorial at Wyuka Cemetery at 1 pm.
Saturday, April 30th, there will be a performance of Life in a Jar, the story of Irene Sendler at the Johnny Carson Theater.