Thursday April 12, 2018, is Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day to remember the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. One million of the murdered were children.
The day also recalls the heroism of these Jews, most notably in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In many places, including many of the death camps, Jews fought the Nazis with anything and everything they had. Jews did not go passively to the gas chambers and the ovens.
The Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis and their followers also targeted the LGBT community, people of colour, and many others who were deemed to be "different."
But the Nazis failed on their murderous path. They failed because good and just people took a stand against hatred, against victimization, and against slaughter.
Sadly, we continue to witness the demonization and slaughter of people who look different, who worship differently, who love differently, who try to correct their painful history, who follow their own culture, and who choose to uphold their dignity rather than give in to dictators and terrorists.
For all of us in OPSEU, each time we recite our Statement of Respect we vow to fight against these attempts to destroy. We value life, we value freedom, and we value a person's right to exist in peace. We know that targeting any group will not bring peace, will not make the world a better place.
Holocaust Remembrance Day asks us to remember the victims of the Nazis’ unthinkable campaign of murder. It asks us to remember the heroes. And it asks us to say "Never Again."
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer