All that’s been heard this week is silence.
Some of it good — taking time to be solemn in remembrance of those lost.
Some of it bad — receiving little recognition or acknowledgement by the public.
Holocaust Remembrance Week took place this week, with Monday recognized as the international date for Holocaust Remembrance Day, which marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. The week was founded to take time to reflect on the genocide inflicted by Nazis, who murdered more than 6 million Jews and countless others during World War II.
And yet, it’s been a fairly silent week on the issue.
Having to do an Internet search of memorials that may have taken place, as there were no local ceremonies, my search engine found little in the way of answers.
The most moving came from Israel, which held a two-minute moment of silence Monday. Roads were left empty as people pulled to the side and exited their vehicles, standing in silence together. Swimmers stood still on the beaches and in the water as a siren signaled the beginning of the somber moment. Busy sidewalks came to a standstill to recognize those who were lost in the Holocaust, if only for just two minutes.
The photographs of these moments of solidarity are powerful.
Yet, it didn’t seem to be received as an event worthy of worldwide recognition.
It simply sat as a holiday on a calendar, placed atop Monday’s square.
Why has a week that was instituted to remember one of the most horrific global events from the past century not received the substantial acknowledgment it deserves?
The Holocaust has impacted nearly every American, whether directly or indirectly.
Students learned of its horrors from popular novels such as “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” or “Night” or from such movies as “Schindler’s List” or “The Pianist.”
Some may know of its history through family, hearing firsthand accounts from parents or grandparents who fought in World War II about the liberation of concentration camps or the fight against Adolph Hitler’s regime of Nazis.
And then there are those who are still burdened with the evidence of living through that time, permanently marked with numbers on their forearm — reminding them they survived but many more didn’t, that at one time they were thought of as nothing more than inventory — merely because of their heritage.
To forget these sacrifices would be to forget how to prevent them from happening again.
While this week was set as a memorial to the Jews who lost their lives, it should also serve as a reminder of those who stood up to what appeared to be an unmovable force and succeeded, of those who survived and continue to record and keep the history of what took place alive for future generations and of those who strive to keep an event like this from ever happening again.
The world can’t allow another tragedy to be silenced with time.
It’s time to recognize silence isn’t always golden.