BROXTOWE HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY

Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of Broxtowe Borough Council, may I welcome each of you here today to the Walled Garden, here in Bramcote Park to honour National Holocaust Memorial Day. This ceremony is very important in the Borough’s calendar of annual events and one which should never be forgotten. Your attendance is part of the national picture of Holocaust Memorial Day, with thousands of activities taking place across the UK – supported by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

It is very heartening to see so many different age groups here today representing the Borough and honouring the memory of those who were victim to oppression, torture and genocide. We mourn them together in this beautiful setting, dedicated to their memory.

I am so pleased that we have with us this morning, Councillor Jan Goold and some of the students and staff from Alderman White school.

Each year, Holocaust Memorial Day marks a day of reflection for us all to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides across the world, as well as to honour the survivors.

The theme of this year’s event is “One Day”. Holocaust Memorial Day is One Day – 27 January – that we put aside to come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be One Day in the future with no genocide. We learn more about the past, we empathise with others today, and we take action for a better future. We also want today to be uplifting with a message of hope for the future and as such we have included some music and songs in the itinerary.

Firstly, today let’s look at a real life example of One Day when life changed.

Iby Knill, a survivor of the Holocaust said: “You didn’t think about yesterday, and tomorrow may not happen, it was only today that you had to cope with and you got through it as best you could.” Iby Knill feels that from One Day to the next, everything changed and yet nothing had changed: She said One day Gretl, my school friend greeted me with an embrace. The next day she ran across the road and turned her head away so as not to acknowledge me.

And now we will look at One Day at a time

It may be hard to pick out just One Day, as for many, to keep going through each and every day was a huge struggle, with no end in sight and no glimmer of hope that the next day would be any better.

The genocide in Rwanda lasted 100 days, beginning after the plane carrying the President was shot down on 6 April 1994. The genocide followed decades of tensions between Hutus and Tutsis. Beatha recalls how, having watched fellow Tutsis around her being murdered, and on many occasions thinking she was going to be murdered, ‘every one of those hundred days was dangerous’.

For many, one day was grindingly like all the others, with no chance of improvement or change. One Day seemed to last for years, and ‘every day of their life was a day of suffering and torment’

We’ll also look at One Day in the future

Those who were targeted and persecuted held out for the One Day in the future when all their suffering would be over, hoping they would ‘all see the day of liberation’.

On Holocaust Memorial Day we learn from genocide for a purpose – to build a better future. When we look ahead to ‘one day with no genocide’, what do we need to do today to achieve this? We can use this theme to motivate us to speak out when we see injustices, prejudices and identity-based violence.

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2022, this One Day, we will all come together in our communities, to learn from the Holocaust and genocides – for a better future.

One Day is a snapshot.

One Day is just a snapshot in time and therefore cannot give the full picture, the context, the background that is needed, but it can help bring a piece of the full picture to life. The age or gender of the victim, or their geographical location ensured that no One Day during the genocide was typical. The same date would be experienced very differently by Jews hiding in France, Jews incarcerated in Auschwitz, Jews awaiting their fate in Hungary, for example. For those who suffered for days, weeks, months, years focusing on just One Day is a starting point, a way in for us to learn more about what happened during the Holocaust and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur

It is now my pleasure to introduce some students from Alderman White school who have been working hard practising a song called ‘One Day’ and they will perform it for you now. I do hope that you enjoy it and appreciate all of their efforts in getting it ready.

(Song – ‘One Day’ performed by Alderman White students)

Sometimes I lay under the moon
And thank God I’m breathin’
Then I pray, “Don’t take me soon
‘Cause I am here for a reason.”

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know some day it’ll all turn around because

All my life I’ve been waitin’ for
I’ve been prayin’ for
For the people to say
That we don’t wanna fight no more
There’ll be no more war
And our children will play

One day, one day, one day, oh
One day, one day, one day, oh

It’s not about win or lose, ’cause we all lose
When they feed on the souls of the innocent
Blood-drenched pavement
Keep on movin’ though the waters stay ragin’

In this maze
You can lose your way, your way
It might drive you crazy but
Don’t let it faze you, no way, no way!

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know some day it’ll all turn around because

All my life I’ve been waitin’ for
I’ve been prayin’ for
For the people to say
That we don’t wanna fight no more
There’ll be no more war
And our children will play

One day, one day, one day, oh
One day, one day, one day, oh

One day this all will change, treat people the same
Stop with the violence, down with the hate
One day we’ll all be free, and proud to be
Under the same sun, singin’ songs of freedom like

Why-ohh! (One day, one day) why-oh, oh, oh!
Why-ohh! (One day, one day) why-oh, oh, oh!

All my life I’ve been waitin’ for
I’ve been prayin’ for
For the people to say
That we don’t wanna fight no more
There’ll be no more war
And our children will play

One day, one day, one day, oh
One day, one day, one day, oh

Thank you ……I would now like to introduce Councillor Jan Goold who will read a message of hope

This morning, the focus has been on One Day and so I would like to read this message of hope, One Day by Martin Luther King.

One day…

Youngsters will learn words they will not understand.

Children from India will ask:

What is hunger?

Children from Alabama will ask:

What is racial segregation?

Children from Hiroshima will ask?

What is the atomic bomb?

Children at school will ask:

What is war?

You will answer them

You will tell them

Those words are not used any more

Like stage-coaches, galleys and slavery

Words no longer meaningful

That is why they have been removed from dictionaries

I would now like to re-introduce The Mayor, Councillor Richard MacRae

I would like to thank everyone for attending and participating in the ceremony this morning, especially the students and staff from Alderman White School.

“Before we conclude the proceedings this morning, we will have an uplifting song of belonging, community and hope sung by Elisa Empringham, a student from the school. It is called Home to You.

(Home to You – song by Sigrid)

Couldn’t wait ’til I got outside
Wondering, what the world be like
I knew I had to change my mind
Didn’t realize it would happen, oh, so soon, oh, so soon

But I see the world so different now
But there’s a place by the sea and that’s my town

When I don’t know what to say
When I don’t know what to do
There’s a room I need to sit in
Surrounded by my favourite view
And I need a hand to hold
Someone to tell the truth
Would it be okay if I came home to you?

Independence comes with a price
When questioning your own advice
But I know I’ll be alright
With an open door, no matter what
I do, what I do

But I see the world so different now
But there’s a place by the sea and that’s my town

When I don’t know what to say
When I don’t know what to do
There’s a room I need to sit in
Surrounded by my favourite view
And I need a hand to hold
Someone to tell the truth
Would it be okay if I came home to you?

No, I don’t want to keep on coming
When I’m miles away
And you’re too far away
Oh, but if I need you to remind me
That nothing has changed
Would it be okay, would it be okay for you?

And I see the world so different now
‘Cause there’s a place by the sea and that’s my town

When I don’t know what to say
When I don’t know what to do
There’s a room I need to sit in
Surrounded by my favourite view
And I need a hand to hold
Someone to tell the truth
Would it be okay if I came home to you?
No, would it be okay if I came home to you?

Finally, I would like to ask everyone assembled to pause for a moment of reflection.

PAUSE FOR A MINUTE’S SILENCE

I thank you once again for supporting Holocaust Memorial Day 2022. I would like to invite you to take a short walk and join me for refreshments at the Frothy’s Coffee van. Please hand in your voucher to obtain the drink of your choice and a biscuit.

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