Speer: We must never forget Holocaust

All too often these days politics and government at any level – local, state and federal – leaves me disappointed, frustrated and angry.

Just when I’m ready to give up and leave for Canada (or at the very least, Onaway), someone does something noteworthy, nice or just plain sensible, and my confidence is temporarily restored.

So it was this week from Lansing, where state lawmakers, faith leaders and the public gathered together to remember the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

In a world where some global leaders maintain the Holocaust never existed, remembering it, and the evil impact of ethnic cleansing efforts, should never be forgotten, never trivialized and never overlooked.

Painful as it is to remember such dark days, that pain can serve as a strong catalyst for us to never allow such inhumanity to occur again.

According to Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley “remembering the Holocaust grows increasingly important every year.”

As age reduces the generations who lived through the Holocaust years of World War II, the most we are left with are the written accounts, photographs and memories left behind. Yet what we do have is powerfully moving, humbling and horrific in its intensity. It is a bitter reminder of mankind at its worst.

If I had my way every student would have to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., before high school graduation. Trust me, it is a museum that shakes you to your core because of its content. It is a museum that brings the strongest of men to tears. It is a museum filled with simple, everyday reminders of life, surrounded by a dark and evil cloud of death.

Why do we need to remember the Holocaust?

We need to understand that denial of the Holocaust is nothing more than antisemitism. We need to remember that even today genocide and ethnic cleansing occurs in Africa. In Europe just years ago we saw it occur in the Baltics.

And, as the world watches closely the unrest in the Middle East, we wonder whether genocide is occurring in Syria, or why Christians are being persecuted in Egypt.

In a world where the Taliban treat women no better than common possessions, where relief workers bringing books to schools or polio vaccine workers are being ambushed and killed, we have to be saddened and alarmed.

Enough is enough. Chaos cannot be allowed to reign. Insanity doesn’t have to be the norm. Fear and intimidation don’t have to greet you each morning.

These are the reasons we cannot forget the Holocaust.

Never again.

We cannot, must not, let it ever happen again.

That is why remembering the Holocaust is important. I’m pleased our state’s lawmakers and leadership thought so as well.

Bill Speer can be reached via email at bspeer@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 354-3111 ext. 331. Follow Bill on Twitter @billspeer13. Read his blog, More BS?(Bill Speer) at www.thealpenanews.com.