Published Friday 26 January 2024 at 15:55
The borough’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony brought together faith representatives and schools to remember and pay respects to victims of genocide, oppression and torture.
On Friday 26 January, Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum jointly hosted the ceremony in the Council Chamber at Blackburn Town Hall.
With speakers from different faith communities and contributions from local secondary school pupils, the aim of the ceremony was to share the message that we need to unite to reject hatred in all its forms.
Everyone present at the event remembered the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Holocaust Memorial Day is observed the world over. The theme of this year’s commemoration is ‘Fragility of Freedom’. Pupils from eight local secondary schools shared their thoughts on the subject from their own unique perspective.
Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, who attended the event said:
As a borough, we have officially condemned hatred in all its forms, and are committed to treating everyone in Blackburn with Darwen as a valued member of our community.
It’s fundamental that the Holocaust and other genocides have their own place in history and that we learn from the past and are proactive to condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism, and fight for a free, respectful and equal future.
The young people that joined us today and all those in the borough and beyond are the ones that with continue with this message of hope and peace.
A video from the Holocaust Memorial Trust was shown, and Rabbi Arnold Saunders, a great friend of the borough who regularly contributes to local Holocaust Memorial Day activities, joined online to give the keynote address.
At the end of the ceremony candles were lit as a sign of peace and unity, and a one minute silence was observed.