Today we pause to remember one of the darkest chapters in world history, the Holocaust.
January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and it is vital that we never forget the barbaric Nazi genocide that killed millions of innocent people and left those who survived scarred for life.
We should always honour the memory of the victims of Nazi atrocities because they should always be close to our hearts. We also can never forget the Holocaust because those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
Racism and right wing extremism have never completely disappeared so we must ever be vigilant to guard against them rising again as they did in the 1930s. However sinister forces come in many forms and since the Second World War we’ve seen other examples of mass genocide, for example in Syria, Rwanda and Kosovo.
Innocent people die or suffer every time we as a people fail to take a strong stand against the kind of developments that led to the rise of the Nazis.
Remembering the victims must go hand in hand with action.
We at OPSEU understand the importance of being united to speak out and fight against discrimination and racism in all their forms.
That is why we have committees like the Provincial Human Rights Committee, the Indigenous Circle, the Workers of Colour Caucus, the Rainbow Coalition, the Disability Rights Caucus and the Provincial Youth, Francophone and Women’s Committees.
These members work tirelessly to help OPSEU make sure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.
It is the foundation of the work we do and it’s of vital importance to guard against allowing the creation of the climate of hate that led to the Holocaust. We must never again allow this to happen.
President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida