Yom HaShoah is not simply a time to remember the Holocaust and mourn, Georgia Commission on the Holocaust Executive Director Sally Levine said during the annual Days of Remembrance observance Friday, May 6, at the state Capitol.
“Our memory is not enough,” she said. “We must ensure that ‘never again’ is not a hollow phrase. It’s a call to action.”
The commission used the theme “Mothers and Fathers: Stories of Love and Loss” this year for its Creative Arts Student Contest — the winning entries can be viewed at www.holocaust.georgia.gov/2016-winners — and for the commemoration.
The ceremony emphasized the difficult decisions and sacrifices parents made to save their children — in Jewish families and among other minorities targeted by the Nazis, such as Roma and Slavs, as commission Chairwoman Claire D’Agostino emphasized in introducing Humanitarian Award winner Andrea Videlefsky.
Videlefsky is the president of Holocaust education and child protection organization Am Yisrael Chai, whose signature project is planting 1.5 million daffodils worldwide in memory of the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust.
“One daffodil on its own is a beautiful flower, but many daffodils standing together bring hope, light, beauty and unity to the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia and around the world,” Videlefsky said.
Like Levine, she urged the crowd of diplomats, elected officials, Jewish community members and students to do more than remember what happened in Europe more than 70 years ago. Videlefsky, whose organization works against genocidal efforts in places such as South Sudan and Darfur, said we each have an obligation to uphold justice.
Photos by Eli Gray, Gray Imaging