Oadby & Wigston Borough Council marked Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 yesterday (Monday 28 January) in a reflective tribute event held at their main offices in Wigston.
Every year on 27 January, the world marks Holocaust Memorial Day. This is the day identified to remember the six million plus Jews murdered in the Holocaust of 1939 to 1945, the millions of other people killed in Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia and Darfur.
Oadby & Wigston Borough Council have supported this day since 2014 and held its commemorative event on the Monday evening as 27 January falls on a Sunday. The switch to the Monday enabled a bumper turn out from local community groups, residents, local Cllrs and members of council staff.
Torn from home was the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 and the speeches relayed aimed to encourage what was an intergenerational audience to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call 'home' is a trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide.
Borough Mayor, Cllr David Carter opened the event and was followed by readings of the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead and was complimented by contributions of song, music and the spoken word from the band Destination, and sisters Gurleen and Tavleen Gill, representatives of voluntary organisations, community groups’ representative of faith and belief.
The event concluded with inspiring gospel songs delivered by the De Montfort University Gospel Choir and lit candles being laid at the base of an architectural candleholder representing doves of peace.
Veronika Quintyne, Oadby & Wigston Borough Council’s Community Engagement Officer who organised the event said: “It was fantastic to see another great turn out, especially from such a diverse mix of faiths and age groups.
“The night’s speeches on the theme of what happens when individuals, families and communities are persecuted out of their homes, because of who they are was a solemn but important message to reflect upon.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended.”
All residents and staff working in the Borough were invited to the free-to-attend event and reflect upon these atrocities and this event is part of the work the Council undertakes to help build community cohesion and combat racism and hatred.