JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WASH. – Team McChord hosted its annual Holocaust Remembrance Day at the McChord Field Chapel Support Center April 28 on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The U.S. Congress established ‘Days of Remembrance’ in 1980 as the country’s annual Holocaust commemoration.
To start the symposium, Sarah Amato, chief of public affairs with the 62nd Airlift Wing, recited the Mourner’s Kaddish, a prayer traditionally said in honor of the deceased. It is customary to recite the prayer for all who perished during the Holocaust.
“As painful as it is to remember horrific events such as the Holocaust, we absolutely have to because as we get further away from this experience, we must keep the memory alive,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Collins, 62nd AW vice commander, during opening remarks.
The exhibit held virtual presentations of survivors now living in the Seattle area who witnessed or were affected by the Holocaust. The survivors also spoke about life after the Holocaust.
During the event, Team McChord members read poems, speeches and books of victims and survivors.
Visitors were also encouraged to light a candle and place it on a table in the center of the room, to represent the millions of victims lost in the Holocaust.
“Every candle placed is in honor of a survivor or victim of the Holocaust,” said Master Sgt. Brenden Riley, quality assurance evaluator with the 627th Communications Squadron and the master of ceremonies for the event. “There will always be light in the darkness, and we want to make sure that the more someone remembers, the brighter that light is. We want to illuminate the darkness as much as possible.”
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