By Mr. Derek Gean (Leonard Wood)May 4, 2017
Remembering the horrors of the Holocaust and finding ways to prevent history from repeating itself was the focus of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood's Days of Remembrance Observance April 26 at the Main Post Chapel.
The atmosphere was solemn as community members remembered the more than 6 million Jews killed during World War II. Empty chairs filled the back of the worship center, memorializing the lives lost.
"Learning from the Holocaust: The Strength of the Human Spirit," was the theme of the observance.
"We gather here today to remember the lives lost, said Master Sgt. Anthony Hunter, one of the observance's narrators. "We remember the importance of preserving freedom, promoting human dignity and confronting hate whenever or wherever it occurs."
Following the opening presentation, six community members lit memorial candles in honor of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
The audience then viewed a video presentation, "Why We Remember the Holocaust."
Dr. Shannon Fogg, professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Missouri University of Science and Technology, served as keynote speaker for the program.
A student of World War II, Hogg has traveled Europe and written about the war and the Holocaust. Her work has been supported by grants from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and she has presented her research across Europe. She has also taught courses on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.
Fogg used the presentation as an opportunity to honor the theme by educating audience members about the rise of Adolf Hitler and the events leading up to the Holocaust.
"The Holocaust was state sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jews from 1933 to 1945," Fogg said. More than 6 million were murdered, including the Romani, people with mental or physical disabilities, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witness', Soviets and political dissidents, she added.
Fogg provided a presentation of the timeline of the events, from the beginning, until Allied Forces liberated the concentration camps.
She encouraged audience members to not forget the past and to be aware when observing persecution in modern times.
"Remembering the Holocaust and its victims, survivors, rescuers and liberators is still important for us today, even 72 years after the end of World War II," Fogg said.
This year's program was hosted by the Noncommissioned Officer Academy and featured music from the 399th Army Band.