By Sgt. 1st Class Reginald L. Douglass
Installation Equal Opportunity Advisor
In an effort to help clarify, I want to explain what exactly the Days of Remembrance are. So instead of the usual “it could just be me”, I thought you may like this bit of information provided, in part by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
What are, the Days of Remembrance?
The US Congress established Days of Remembrance as the Nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims.
What is the Holocaust? Who are we remembering?
The Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Jews were the primary victims—six million were murdered; Roma (Gypsies), people with disabilities, and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi Germany.
Why do the Days of Remembrance dates change from year to year?
The Israeli Parliament (Knesset) established Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah), to be observed on the 27th day of Nisan of the Hebrew calendar. The Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar so the date changes each year in the United States.
Observances and remembrance activities occur throughout the week of Remembrance, which runs from the Sunday before Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) through the following Sunday.
This year on White Sands Missile Range, we will be holding a candle lighting ceremony to commemorate the events of the past and remember those who gave their lives. Please join us as we mark this year’s theme, “Learning from the Holocaust: Choosing to Act”.