SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today honored victims of the Holocaust at the 27th annual State of Illinois Holocaust Memorial Observance. The Holocaust resulted in the deaths of an estimated 6 million Jews, and it continues to be the world’s worst example of intolerance, hatred and violence in human history.
“Although it’s been sixty years since the Holocaust, we should keep it as fresh in our memories as if it happened yesterday,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “We should never forget the victims who fought, suffered, or those who died. They demonstrated tremendous courage and unwavering faith in the face extreme hatred. The Holocaust should serve as a constant reminder of the dangers of intolerance – but also a reminder of the strength of the human spirit.”
Holocaust Remembrance Day is designated annually by Congress to honor the survivors and to remember the struggle, the hope, and the courage of the victims. Holocaust survivors, state legislators, elected officials and religious leaders joined the Governor at the Old State Capitol in Springfield to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The Governor issued a proclamation on April 18th commemorating Days of Remembrance from April 15th to the 22nd. In the proclamation, Gov. Blagojevich says, “The Days of Remembrance have been set aside for the people of the state of Illinois to remember the victims of the Holocaust as well as to reflect on the need for respect of all peoples.”
The full text of the proclamation reads:
WHEREAS, the Holocaust was the state sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945; and
WHEREAS, during this sad time in history, six million were murdered, while many others were forced into grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny for racial, ethnic or national reasons; and
WHEREAS, the history of the Holocaust offers an opportunity to reflect on the moral responsibilities of individuals, societies, and governments; and
WHEREAS, the people of the State of Illinois also should always remember the terrible events of the Holocaust and remain vigilant against hatred, persecution, and tyranny. In addition, we should actively rededicate ourselves to the principles of individual freedom in a just society; and
WHEREAS, the Days of Remembrance have been set aside for the people of the state of Illinois to remember the victims of the Holocaust as well as to reflect on the need for respect of all peoples; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to an Act of Congress (Public Law 96-388, October 7, 1980) the United States Holocaust Memorial Council designates the Days of Remembrance of victims of the Holocaust to be Sunday, April 15 through Sunday, April 22, 2006, including the International Day of Remembrance known as Yom Hashoah:
THEREFORE, I, Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim April 15-22, 2007 as DAYS OF REMEMBRANCE in Illinois, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and in honor of the survivors, as well as the rescuers and liberators, and urge all citizens to collectively and individually strive to overcome bigotry, hatred and indifference through learning, tolerance and remembrance.