A call to action during Days of Remembrance |
by Donovan Jackson
Air University Public Affairs
4/19/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- When evil begins to shake the foundation of a civilization, it is up to the people to notice the warning signs and then to take action.
In memory of those who took action and the loss of 6 million Jewish lives at the hands of the Nazi regime, the 42nd Air Base Wing held its annual Days of Remembrance commemoration April 9 at the Air University Academic Facility Large Auditorium.
The keynote speaker for the event was Rabbi Jonathan Miller of Birmingham's Temple Emanu-El.
"Never in my life did I think I would get the privilege of being at an Air Force base around people who are dedicating their lives for the protection of my values," said Miller. "It is with great gratitude and humility that I am here."
Miller was ordained at the New York campus of Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, after having graduated from Brandeis University. He has served as a rabbi in Los Angeles and Auckland, New Zealand.
"These days we remember the unparalleled cruelty that was meted out to the Jewish people. Many members of my extended family perished during those horrendous times," Miller said.
While in his 30s, Miller visited areas in Poland where his extended family members were once held captive in Nazi concentration camps.
"Those who suffered under Nazi control should be known today, not only for their suffering, but also for their ability to hope for a better future and their determination to create it," he said.
This year's theme "Never Again: Heading the Warning Signs" emphasized the events that took place prior to the Holocaust while acknowledging the people and groups that aided in rescue.
Congress established Days of Remembrance in 1981 as the nation's annual commemoration of the Holocaust and acts of genocide around the world.
"We are visiting the past in order to protect the future," said Wing Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Gary Ziccardi as he recited a prayer to the audience.