Today to mark holocaust remembrance day I observed the theme of keeping the memory alive by joining others from across Ealing borough at the tree-planting ceremony outside the council’s Perceval House offices by Ealing Town Hall.
It is all too easy for people in today’s society to think that we lead busy lives non-stop but nonetheless it is vital to take time today to pause, reflect and consider atrocities like the holocaust and remember the acts of incredible bravery and defiance as well as the horrific, unjust and wasteful loss of millions of blameless lives.
Prejudice has no place in modern society. Today we condemn and vow to never forget the torture and genocide of six million Jews as well as the hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities, of gypsies, Poles, left-wing intellectuals and religious leaders who were also murdered.
2015 marks two important anniversaries – the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Bosnia. But we must also remember other victims of persecution from around the world, including those in Armenia, Assyria, Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda and Darfur.
We ought also look to our own communities and those who have come to our borough to escape persecution, in the hope that our collective consciousness can challenge hatred, discrimination and persecution and work toward a kinder, better future. Today we mark the end of the horrors of Auschwitz. I look forward to the day we can do the same for genocide globally.