Millions of people who lost their lives were remembered at a pre-Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) event held by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council last night.
A special commemoration service took place on Sunday January 22 at Monkstown Jubilee Centre, where Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Alderman Stephen Ross joined local representatives in laying wreaths in memory of over six million Jews who were murdered.
Alderman Ross paid tribute to all who lost their lives in the Holocaust and other genocides, as well as those who survived.
“We stand together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day,” he said . We must ensure that the memory of those who lost their lives will be preserved for generations to come. Over two decades later, the annual remembrance ceremony is as important as it ever was.
“Antrim and Newtownabbey Council will continue to stand together to promote a united and stable society while acknowledging the very foundation of modern civilization was rocked to the core by the Holocaust .Its unprecedented impact and the devastation it wrecked on humanity must never be forgotten.”
Alderman Ross said the Borough was committed to remembering the Holocaust and to making sure future generations understand the consequence of what happened.
We vow to always be a force for good in the face of evil,” he said. We stand against genocide, antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, and discrimination around the world.”
At the event, keynote speaker Oliver Sears, son of a Holocaust survivor and founder of Holocaust Awareness Ireland, narrated his family story through a collection of precious objects, documents and photos that survived the war.
Also in attendance was Deputy Lieutenant for County Antrim Professor Mark Taylor, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Belfast Mariusz Stus and US Consulate General Paul Narain.
A Holocaust Memorial Mosaic was created by a local group and installed at Monkstown Jubilee Centre 2020.
Alderman Ross affirmed the Council’s Statement of Commitment for HMD at the memorial service.
Holocaust Memorial Day was initiated in 2000 to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and to raise awareness and understanding of events of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides as a continuing issue for all humanity.
The date – January 27 – was chosen as it was the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945.