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Holocaust memorial to unite community
5:00pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in News
VICTIMS of the Holocaust will be remembered in Swindon this Sunday as the town marks Holocaust Memorial Day.
The annual remembrance will see a number of events taking place in the town.
A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph in Regent Circus at noon and will be followed by a gathering for readings and reflection at 12.30pm at the Friends Meeting House on Eastcott Hill.
Matt Holland is organising the day on behalf of Swindon Council.
He said: “The idea of Holocaust Memorial Day is to raise awareness of prejudice around the world, both from the past and the present.
“Prejudice still exists, even in Swindon, in the form of discrimination and bullying, so this event is important in bringing people’s attention to these issues.”
January 27 was chosen as the day for the event as it marks the date the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated.
The theme of this year’s event is Communities Together: Build a Bridge.
Mr Holland said: “It is noticeable how much friendlier people have been towards each other in the snow and happier to talk to each other.
“We hope to use the theme of this year’s event to encourage people to come together, not just in the snow but on a much more permanent basis.”
A number of schools in Swindon took part in the event last year and they are once again being encouraged to remember the occasion.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a national remembrance that began in 2001.
It takes place so people can remember the six million victims of the Holocaust as well as those who have died in other human rights tragedies, such as the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda.
The events will be attended by Swindon Council leader Rod Bluh, who lost family members during the Holocaust.
Coun Bluh said: “When people succeed in driving a wedge between communities, the lessons from history are all too apparent.
“We must not forget those lessons, and that is why Holocaust Memorial Day is so important.”
The event will also be attended by the Mayor of Swindon, Coun Mick Bray, as well as representatives from many of Swindon’s faith and community groups. Refreshments, such as sandwiches and hot drinks, will be provided.
Anyone who has any memories or stories they wish to share at the reading is encouraged to do so by contacting Matt Holland at firstname.lastname@example.org, either beforehand or on the day.