Remember the Holocaust: Days of Remembrance: April 23-30

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed April 26 this year, is set aside for remembering the victims of the Holocaust and for reminding Americans of what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred and indifference are allowed to reign.

The Holocaust is not merely a story of destruction and loss; it is a story of an apathetic world and a few rare individuals of extraordinary courage.

It is a remarkable story of the human spirit and the life that flourished before the Holocaust, struggled during its darkest hours and ultimately prevailed as survivors rebuilt their lives. Jews, Gypsies, Christians, Slavs, Poles and others died during the Holocaust.

We will also remember people who were genocide victims in countries like Rwanda, Sudan, Indonesia, East Timor, Cambodia, Burundi, Iraq and Turkey.

The theme for the 2006 Days of Remembrance is "Legacies of Justice" in honor of the courage and the precedents set by those who testified during the trials of Nazi war criminals. A single landmark of justice and honor does not make a world of peace. The theme also pays tribute to those who work tirelessly for the cause of justice, both then and now.

Today, more then ever before, individual and communal willingness to seek justice after the Holocaust serves as a powerful example of how our nation can and must respond to unprecedented crimes.

We must pursue justice for the victims of such acts of hatred and inhumanity, not only for their sake but for the sake of present and future generations as well.

Congress created the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in 1980 with a mandate to lead the nation in civic commemorations and encourage appropriate remembrance observances throughout the country. 

Editor's Note: Louis Steinberg is Schriever's Jewish Lay Leader.