Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. A day set aside to remember the innocent people killed just because professed a different faith and maybe had a slightly different sounding name. No words or promises made today will ever undo the horror of the holocaust. We can only work to ensure nothing like it ever happens again.
Today I offer the words of Elie Wiesel as a compass on this endevour:
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.”
When we read accounts - like's Wiesel's - we see one common thread: silence. In the face of oppression, silence. Silence allowes oppression to continue, to grow, to sow seeds of hatred, and become a war against anyone deemed 'different' or imperfect.
Today, we must ask ourselves "where does oppression exist in my world?" We must first identify the oppression taking place today in our communities, in our cities, in out nations. Then we must shed the fear of 'rocking the boat', of upsestting others. We must speak.
While it can be unplesant to speak up, to make noise, the harm of not saying or doing anything is far, far greater.
Today let us remember and pray for all those killed in the holocaust, and commit ourselves to speaking up in the face of opression and injustice today.