There is a heartbreaking statistic that sends chills down our spines. 

If we were to share a moment of silence for every victim of the Holocaust, we would be silent for Eleven and a Half years. 

On this day, we join our fellow citizens on the journey of remembrance, mourning the millions of lives lost at the hands of the Holocaust and wishing for a future free of hate in all forms. Today, on Yom HaShoah, the American Jewish Congress remembers the six million innocent Jews, joined by those who were murdered for their disabilities; people of Roma and Sinti, Slavs, and countless others. The Holocaust will forever serve as one of the darkest stains on human history, but with each passing day – we commit ourselves to never allowing the lessons of the past, even those in our darkest hours, to be forgotten. 

The pains of the past must often serve as our foundation to preach lessons most important; the Holocaust is no different. Regrettably, there are so many individuals, from across the United States and beyond, who either deny or fail to comprehend the magnitude of devastation that the Holocaust was. From violent extremists who spread disinformation about our Jewish communities, to those across the world who seek to wage harm on religious minorities; hate, in both speech and physical threats, continues to intensify. 

At the American Jewish Congress, our team remains steadfast in efforts to solidify the meaning of never again. From our support of Holocaust education resolutions, to echoing the sentiments of universally defining antisemitism, and our constant advocacy for Israel; we are hard at work with no plans of slowing down. In addition, we are doubling down our efforts to disrupt hate’s wake in the mainstream. Through our fervent engagement with social media companies, to shining spotlights on vulnerabilities and threats to Jews and non-Jews alike, we fight to ensure that another grave tragedy like the holocaust, remains behind us, forever. 

Hate must have no safe harbor, and today especially, we recommit ourselves to that fact. To those survivors of the Holocaust, we admire your strength, courage, and resolve to withstand such a brutal chapter of this world – and to those whose lives were taken from them at the hands of brutality, may their memories forever be a blessing. 

In the footsteps of those lost, with xenophobia and intolerance continuing to rise at staggering rates – let us unite in our commitment to combat the facets of hate. While we will never be able to wipe away the scars of the Holocaust, we must never allow such pains to be forgotten, along with the memories of the innocent that were left in its wake.

Anything else would be purely unacceptable. 

May this remembrance teach us, today and always.

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.