International Holocaust Memorial Day service
Friday 27 January 2017
11am to 12pm
Holocaust Memorial Day is dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in The Holocaust, under Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides. It was first held in January 2001 and has been on the same date every year since. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945.
Each year, a memorial service is held at Grays Memorial Gardens (corner of Palmers Avenue and High View Avenue, opposite the Telephone Exchange) to remember the horrors of genocide, and to reflect on our will to build peaceful communities for the future.
11am – Welcome from Reverend Canon Darren Barlow
11:05am – Reflections from the Mayor
11:10am – Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Sue MacPherson
11:15am – Prayers of faith led by various faith leaders
11:25am – Jewish blessing by Hilton Ellis
11:30am – Shadow Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Russell Cherry
11:35am – Leader of the Labour Party, Cllr John Kent
11:40am – Statement of commitment, read by Reverend Canon Darren Barlow
11:45am – The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams
11:49am – One minute’s silence
11:50am – The National Anthem
11:55am – Closing
Midday – Pebble-laying service with an introduction by Hilton Ellis
Statement of commitment
- 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 UK Holocaust Memorial Day. We condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism. We value a free, tolerant, and democratic society.