THE day when the victims of the Holocaust and other human rights tragedies are especially remembered, Holocaust Memorial Day, is on Monday.
The theme of this year’s event is Journeys and the day will again be marked by events taking place in Swindon.
Holocaust Memorial Day was first marked nationally and in Swindon in 2001, and is now established as an annual day of remembrance.
Local authorities and faith groups have been asked to take a lead in developing local memorial events and appropriate activities.
The date, January 27, marks the day when the Auschwitz concentration camps were liberated in 1945.
The day also encourages people to remember other human rights tragedies around the world, including persecution and wars past and present. It aims to raise awareness among young people and Swindon schools are encouraged to mark it.
There will be a 20 minute wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in Regent Circus at midday, followed by a gathering for readings and reflection at 12.30pm at the Friends Meeting House, Eastcott Hill. The latter is expected to last an hour, with readings and presentations by members of many of Swindon's faith groups and community groups, as well as contributions from individuals.
Swindon Council leader Coun David Renard will attend. He said: “This event is important because it reminds us of the horrors of the past. “It might be easier to forget, but we mustn’t, not just because we should remember the suffering of the victims, but also because we will be less likely to see history repeated.”
The event will also be attended by the Mayor of Swindon, Coun Nick Martin. Anyone with appropriate personal stories or readings is welcome to speak or read at the gathering, and is asked to contact Matt Holland at firstname.lastname@example.org before or to speak to him on the day.
Light lunch refreshments including sandwiches and hot drinks will be provided.
More information, and a national perspective about Holocaust Memorial Day, can be found online at www.hmd.org.uk.