By Staff Sgt. Jaquetta Gooden, 94th AAMDC PAOMay 2, 2014
HONOLULU - Soldiers from the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command hosted a remembrance program in memory of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, Apr 30.
The program started off with the singing of the National Anthem, sung graciously by Master Sgt. Q.P Bean, communication operations NCOIC, 94th AAMDC, followed by opening remarks given by Col. William Stacey, deputy commanding officer, 94th AAMDC.
The remembrance memorial was put on to educate Soldiers on how the Holocaust came about, and how its tragic impact still effects the lives of victims and family members of victims, some of which are within our very own ranks today.
"The program was very informative," said Staff Sgt. Lehua Johnson, supply NCO, 94th AAMDC. "It truly opened my eyes to what that culture went through during that time and how even today; it still impacts the lives of their family members."
The guest speaker for the event, Mia Starmer Reisweber, produced an incredible amount of visual aids for the audience to go along with her lecture on the history of the Holocaust. Reisweber went into detail about how the men and women were singled out and forced into "ghettos" because of their culture. Images of the living conditions displayed across a event's projection screen, showing how they were bunched up in tiny rooms, 20 to a room and forced to sleep on nothing but wood boards.
"Seeing those photos really gave you an idea of what they went through. They looked starved; I couldn't imagine having to go through something like that," said Sgt. 1st Class O.J. Milne, supply operations NCOIC, 94th AAMDC. "My heart went out to them."
The ceremony continued with a proclamation reading of "Days of Remembrance", read by Staff Sgt. Cameron Carter, fires support sergeant, 94th AAMDC.
"It was a privilege to take part in such an incredible program. Learning more about the Holocaust gave me a better understanding of how tragic of a time that was. It truly gives the saying, 'If it affects one, it affects us all,' a whole other meaning in my eyes," said Carter.
The program concluded with a candle lighting ceremony and a moment of silence. Soon after, music filled the air with the playing of "Hymn of the Partisans" song.
Historically, this song was inspired by the Vilna Ghetto poet and Hirsh Glik (1922-1944). The song quickly spread beyond the ghetto and was soon adopted as the partisans' official anthem.
Today, the words of the song reminds us that, "you are never going on your last road."