Council shows its support for the ‘fragility of freedom’ this Holocaust Memorial Day
Posted on: Friday 26 January 2024
Bridgend County Borough Council will once again show its support for Holocaust Memorial Day 2024, which focuses on the theme of ‘Fragility of Freedom’.
Mayor, Councillor William Kendall will light the memorial candle to pay tribute to those persecuted and killed during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides across the world.
At 8pm, on Saturday 27 January, households across the county borough are encouraged to join the Mayor and people across the rest of the UK in lighting a candle and safely placing it in your window to remember those who were murdered for who they were and to also stand against prejudice and hatred today.
This year’s theme, set by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) is ‘Fragility of Freedom’.
Not only do perpetrator regimes erode the freedom of the people they are targeting, demonstrating how fragile freedom is, they also restrict the freedoms of others around them, to prevent people from challenging the regime. Despite this, in every genocide there are those who risk their own freedom to help others, to preserve others’ freedom or to stand up to the regime.
HMD 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. 49 years after the Holocaust ended, 19 years after the genocide in Cambodia, the world stood by as Hutu extremists shattered the fragile freedom in Rwanda, following decades of tension and violence, culminating in the murder of over one million Tutsis in just one hundred days.
As well as lighting the memorial candle, the council offices will be lit purple as a mark of respect and an act of remembrance to all those who have suffered and lost their lives as a result of hatred, prejudice and persecution.
I’m sure this year’s theme, the ‘Fragility of Freedom’, has made us all reflect on our duty as members of the community to stand together against racism, discrimination, prejudice, and exclusion.
It’s important for us all to reflect, remember and learn from the past and that is why we in Bridgend County Borough mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
Tragically, anti-Semitism, hatred and genocide has not been confined to the history books but still takes place around the world. So, we all need to unite as human beings and ask ourselves what we can do collectively, to stand up against all forms of prejudice and hate to create a safer world for current and future generations.Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing, Councillor Neelo Farr
Holocaust Memorial Day was established on 27 January 2000, when representatives from 46 countries around the world met in Stockholm to discuss Holocaust education, remembrance, and research. At the end of this meeting, all attendees signed a declaration committing to preserving the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust.
Residents are also encouraged to read the Seven Statements of Commitment for Holocaust Memorial Day:
- We recognise that the Holocaust shook the foundations of modern civilisation. Its unprecedented character and horror will always hold universal meaning.
- We believe the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation's collective memory. We honour the survivors still with us and reaffirm our shared goals of mutual understanding and justice.
- We must make sure that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences. We vow to remember the victims of Nazi persecution and of all genocide.
- We value the sacrifices of those who have risked their lives to protect or rescue victims, as a touchstone of the human capacity for good in the face of evil.
- We recognise that humanity is still scarred by the belief that race, religion, disability or sexuality make some people's lives worth less than others'. Genocide, antisemitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination still continue. We have a shared responsibility to fight these evils.
- We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education and research about the Holocaust and other genocide. We will do our utmost to make sure that the lessons of such events are fully learnt.
- We will continue to encourage Holocaust remembrance by holding an annual Holocaust Memorial Day. We condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism. We value a free, tolerant, and democratic society.
To register for the UK Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony, please visit: https://www.hmd.org.uk/take-part-in-holocaust-memorial-day/ukhmd/