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Holocaust victims remembered at state capitol

Posted at 6:47 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 20:49:45-04

For 35 years, Idahoans have remembered victims of the Holocaust since the first statewide proclamation in 1982 by Idaho Governor John Evans. Today, at the Lincoln Auditorium in the state capitol building, Yom Ha'Shoah was observed. The ceremony included proclamations, candle lighting, music from local choral groups, and more.

After the Governor's proclamation of the day was read, a child read from his award-winning essay for the Wilma Landman Loeb Holocaust Remembrance Essay Contest.

"After having seen pictures of holocaust victims," said contest winner Jordan Hennessy. "Seeing these images made me sick to my stomach. I thought to myself: How could a country do this to millions of human beings based solely on a different culture?"

"It's important to remember the Holocaust," says Rabbi Dan Fink of Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, because "... those who the Nazis were trying to reduce to numbers, we can accord them the dignity of indeed, they were [in fact people with names], and they did make a difference in their lifetimes. And the world is a better place for them having been here even if, alas, for too short a time."

He added that the Holocaust has lessons that are useful for today: "It's much easier to nip that kind of hatred that lead to the Holocaust in the bud, to stop it after it starts to flourish and starts to invade the body populous."

A poem of remembrance was also read, called "We Remember Them," by Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer. It included these lines, read aloud:
 
At the rising of the sun, and at its going down,
We remember them.
 
At the blowing of the wind, and in the chill of winter
We remember them.
 
At the opening of the buds, and in the rebirth of spring,
We remember them. 
...
 
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us as
we remember them.