Published Friday 15 January 2016 at 13:25
A special ceremony to remember all victims of genocide, oppression and torture will be marked in the New Year.
Holocaust Memorial Day will take place at Blackburn with Darwen Council Chamber at Blackburn Town Hall from 1.30pm on Wednesday, January 27.
The event, organised by Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum and supported by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, commemorates all those who were affected by the Holocaust, in which millions lost their lives and remembers more recent genocides such as those in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.
It is set to be a day which will allow time to reflect on shameful periods in history and remember its victims, as well as honour the survivors.
The 2016 theme ‘Don’t Stand By’ will help people consider their individual responsibilities and not to be bystanders to hate crime and prejudice, nor to international threats of genocide.
Last year, nine secondary schools took part in the ceremony, this year there will be 10 taking part and it will again be marked by the lighting of candles by faith representatives from across the Borough.
Derek Estill, Secretary of Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum said:
This is a very important occasion in the life of our town and our nation because we can take time to remember and reflect on the atrocities that have taken place across the world.
On this special day we particularly remember the Jewish Holocaust as well as others that have occurred since. The Interfaith Forum working with and through people from all 6 major world faiths being practiced in our town therefore urges everyone to take time to reflect on the terrible acts that human beings have inflicted on other human beings and to resolve not to Stand By and watch such things happen in future but to speak up to stop them.”
Councillor Mohammed Khan OBE, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council said:
It is very important that we remember the victims and honour the survivors of genocide. We must ensure that lessons are learned from these devastating crimes and that we pass on the legacy of such terrible times to ensure they are never forgotten.
We hope as many people as possible will help us to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.”
Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Councillor Faryad Hussain, said:
We would like people of every age to help us mark the occasion and ensure we keep these memories alive for generations to come.
It was heart-warming to see such a good turn out last year and those numbers are testament to the strong feelings that we should never forget such atrocities.”