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Honouring Holocaust Memorial Day

Last Modified January 30, 2023

The Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor John Graham has led a poignant candlelit parade and ceremony to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The candlelit parade travelled from the car park of Radlett Train Station at 6pm last Thursday (26 January), along Watling Street to The Radlett Centre, where a ceremony, organised by us, took place which included a first-hand personal account from Dzemal Paratusic, a Bosnian genocide survivor about his experiences and the impact it had on his life.

The event was held to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 

Joining the Mayor were Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Reverend Patrick Moriarty, a number of our borough councillors and officers, other local dignitaries and residents.

During the ceremony, the Holocaust Memorial Day Prayer was read by the Mayor’s Chaplain, Reverend Oliver Blease, followed by a two-minute silence. There were also speeches by Reverend Moriarty, the Mayor and Cllr Morris Bright MBE, Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, videos and musical performances by The Singing Choir and Shlomo Levy of The Purcell School.

Cllr John Graham said: “I was deeply honoured to lead such an important event for our borough.

“The theme this year was ‘Ordinary People’ to acknowledge that ordinary people are both the perpetrators and victims of genocide, and to prompt us to consider how ordinary people such as ourselves, can play a role in challenging the prejudice which remains in today’s society.

“I was particularly touched by the words of Dzemal. It was a reminder of the atrocities that have occurred in many of our lifetimes, and how we must continue to educate ourselves and unite against genocide, discrimination and hate.”

The event was held the day before Holocaust Memorial Day, which is on 27 January as this is the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the Soviet Army liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

To learn more about why this day is significant, and how to get involved, visit https://www.hmd.org.uk/

Posted on Monday 30th January 2023

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