People from different faiths and cultures are being invited to take part in a special memorial service being held in Chorley to remember all those who died in the Holocaust and other acts of genocide.
The service, on Saturday 25 January, will mark Holocaust Memorial Day which this year has the theme ‘Stand Together’ which explores how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours and speaking out against oppression. Today there is increasing division in communities across the UK and the world. Now more than ever, we need to stand together with others in our communities in order to stop division and the spread of identity-based hostility in our society.
HMD 2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz – this is a significant milestone and is made particularly poignant by the dwindling number of survivors who are able to share their testimony. It also marks the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia.
Councillor Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is held every year to remember all the victims of the Holocaust, genocide and other atrocities across the world. It is important that we keep the memory of the past alive so that we can help build tolerance and understanding of different faiths and cultures.
“Learning from the past can help us create a safer, better future. The theme this year ‘Stand Together’ challenges us to think about what motivated people to stand together with targeted individuals during the Holocaust and Nazi Persecution, and during subsequent genocides, and why is it so important for us to ‘stand together’ today”.
There will be a service at the cenotaph in Astley Park on Saturday 25 January. Anyone who would like to attend is asked to meet at Astley Park gates, Park Road, at 10.30am. The service will be followed by a gathering in The Lancastrian at Chorley Town Hall with speeches, poetry, refreshments and candle-lighting from 11.30am – everyone is welcome to attend.
Kinga Gray-Grzeczynska, Director of the Holocaust Memorial Service, said: “We will remember the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, and also those killed in acts of genocide and other on-going atrocities in the world. It is important that we continue to remember and educate people so we do not see atrocities like these again.
“The ceremony in Chorley has always been well supported in the past and I hope it will be again this year as everyone, whatever their faith and culture, is invited to join us in this service of remembrance.”