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Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Memorial Day

Thursday April 8, in  response to a Ministerial statement I spoke of the importance of Yom Hashoah and remembering the Holocaust.  My comments (from Hansard) are below: 

Mr. Gerrard: Today on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, we spend time to remember the Holocaust and to build the awareness needed for all Manitobans to understand what happened.

      Fifteen years ago–I remember as if it was yesterday–Naomi and I visited Yad Vashem–The  World Holocaust Remembrance Center–on the western slope of Mount Hertzl, the Mount of Remembrance in the western part of Jerusalem in Israel. It was raining when we entered and raining when we left. The drops of rain were like tears falling all around us, tears in sorrow for those, including many children, who died in the Holocaust.

      It was a deeply moving experience to visit Yad Vashem, to walk through the hall of names and to learn of so many stories: awful, tragic stories, but also stories of incredible fortitude and endurance from survivors, and also stories of courageous people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who risked their lives to help Jews to survive and to escape the Holocaust.

      Today, closer to home, we have the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in our community. It is dedicated to better understanding and awareness of human rights and abuses of human rights, as the Holocaust was. It is dedicated to preserving memories and to creating a future where we can do everything possible to prevent future genocides. The global effort to respect human rights and to eliminate genocides around the world must continue.

      Thank you. Merci. Miigwech.

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