YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Next Wednesday, the town of Yorktown will take part in the nationwide effort to honor the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution by holding a Days of Remembrance ceremony at 7 p.m. at Yorktown Town Hall.
The event coincides with the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust established by Congress and led by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
The ceremony, which is open to all, will feature readings from local clergy, a candle lighting ceremony and a keynote speech by local resident and Holocaust survivor Samuel Matsa.
Councilman Ed Lachterman, one of the organizers of the event, said, “It is especially important to me, not only as a Jew but also as one responsible for the wellbeing of my constituents, to remember and commemorate the events of this horrific period in world history. It is imperative that we all remember where hatred and prejudices can lead us. Hearing the story of Sam, and other survivors, who lived through this aberration helps us to keep these memories fresh and real.”
The Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Jews were the primary victims—6 million were murdered; Roma and Sinti (Gypsies), people with mental and physical disabilities, and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi Germany.
Through the Days of Remembrance event, the town of Yorktown seeks both to commemorate this tragic history and to reflect on the lessons it holds for our lives today. The town will also pay tribute to the rescuers who risked their lives to save others during the Holocaust and to the American soldiers who liberated the concentration camps.
To learn more about the event, visit yorktownny.gov. To learn more about Days of Remembrance, including the national ceremony in the US Capitol Rotunda and a map of remembrance events around the country, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website at ushmm.org/remember.