April 20, 2009
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM LEADS ANNUAL NATIONAL DAYS OF REMEMBRANCE COMMEMORATION
President Barack Obama Keynote Speaker at National Capitol Rotunda Ceremony
CEREMONY WILL BE WEBCAST LIVE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 23, AT 11:00AM EST ON www.ushmm.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — From April 19 through April 26, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will lead the nation in remembering the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, as well as the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution. Observances will be held in communities, state houses, city halls, churches, and synagogues across the United States and at military installations worldwide.
President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at the Museum’s national ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, April 23, which will be attended by Holocaust survivors, liberators, members of Congress, ambassadors, Museum supporters, and community leaders. The ceremony will be webcast live on Thursday, April 23, at 11:00am EST on www.ushmm.org
Nobel Laureate and Founding Museum Chairman Elie Wiesel will also deliver remarks.
The Museum has designated “Never Again: What You Do Matters” as the 2009 Days of Remembrance theme, to encourage people to reflect upon the power of individuals to create a more just and humane world.
“The notion that the Holocaust was the result of the actions of one man or a handful of leaders is false,” says Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “The ability to carry out the genocide depended upon the participation of tens of thousands and the acquiescence of millions. This year, as we remember the victims of Nazi Germany and its collaborators, let us reflect on our own responsibilities in a world of rising antisemitism and continuing genocide.”
In addition to the Rotunda ceremony:
- Vice President Joe Biden will speak at the Museum's annual National Tribute Dinner on April 22 honoring former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen for their service as Co-Chairs of the Genocide Prevention Task Force. The Task Force, jointly convened by the Museum, The American Academy of Diplomacy and the United States Institute for Peace released its final report in December 2008. The report makes the case for why genocide and mass atrocities threaten core American values and national interests, and how the U.S. government can more effectively prevent and respond to these crimes in the future. A copy of the Task Force’s final report can be found at www.ushmm.org.
- On April 23, the Museum will honor five Polish citizens who have been recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” for rescuing Jews during the Holocaust. The same day, each rescuer will light a candle with a Holocaust survivor and member of Congress in the national Days of Remembrance ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda.
- The Museum’s Web site, www.ushmm.org/remembrance/dor, provides numerous resources to help individuals and institutions organize their own Days of Remembrance ceremonies. Visitors can download educational materials; view dozens of proclamations issued by states, cities and government departments recognizing Days of Remembrance; share their thoughts on the importance of Holocaust remembrance; and post photographs from remembrance events.
- On Tuesday, April 21, the names of Holocaust victims will be read aloud in a public ceremony in the Museum’s Hall of Remembrance from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Museum visitors are invited to participate.
For more information on any of the Museum’s Days of Remembrance activities or resources, please contact Andrew Hollinger at 202.448.6133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to promote human dignity, confront hatred and prevent genocide. While federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanent place on the National Mall, its far-reaching educational outreach and global impact are made possible by the generosity of donors nationwide. More information is available at www.ushmm.org.