Commentary

March 29, 2013

Days of Remembrance: Why should I care?

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s “Days of Remembrance” are April 7 through 14. Some may say, “I am not Jewish, so why should I care?” While this observance is closely tied to the remembrance of the Nazi led Holocaust of the 1930s and 1940s in Europe and has strong a connection with the Jewish faith community, the “Days of Remembrance” are for everyone. A primary goal of the observance is to raise awareness so we never allow such atrocities as the Holocaust to occur to anyone, anywhere ever again.

As a Protestant Christian Air Force chaplain and Holocaust survivor, the words of a German Protestant pastor, Rev. Martin Niemöller, resonate strongest with my conscience.

He said “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

These are more than just words as they describe what indeed happened to the author. As a German coming out of the 1920’s wrecked economy, Pastor Niemöller supported Hitler’s rise to power at first. However, when Hitler insisted on the supremacy of the state over religion, Niemöller became disillusioned.

He became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler and the Nazis. He was a popular clergyman, and the Nazis could not just arrest him without reason, so the charge was made that Niemöller was not enthusiastic enough about the Nazi movement. By 1937 he was arrested.

Eventually he was confined in concentration camps at Sachsenhausen and Dachau and was released after the allied forces victory in 1945. Although primarily targeted at European Jews in Germany and German occupied territories, many nationalities and expressions of faith were victims of the Nazi atrocities.

The 2013 theme for the “Days of Remembrance” is “Never Again; Heeding the Warning Signs.” To events will happen April 8 at Luke Air Force Base. A free Holocaust memorial exhibit will be open 8 a.m. to

4 p.m. at the Luke Community Chapel Annex, and a luncheon will take place at Club Five Six with guest speaker Rabbi John Linder of Temple Solel, Paradise Valley. Luncheon tickets are $8 and may be purchased by at the base chapel across from the fitness center. Ticket reservations can be made by calling the chapel at (623) 856-6211. Tickets will not be available at the door.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
2_lemery_d2

Respect — want, earn, give, but don’t lose it

Lt. Col. David Lemery We all want it, some earn it, some are given it and some lose it. Respect can be defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. As ...
 
 

Solve problems at lowest level

Crucial in our Air Force environment today is having the proper tools and skillsets available to deal with problems. There is literally something new almost every single day that will invoke problem solving skills. When faced with a problem, an important mindset to have is to resolve the issue at the lowest possible level. Some...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

No man is an island Have you heard these words before? Maybe spoken them about yourself or another individual? Possibly you have read the John Donne prose found in Meditation 17, “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions,” or you’ve heard the song “No Man is an Island” by the band Tenth Avenue North. Perhaps you have tried...
 

 
entire_workbook

Fly Over: ‘Paddington’ and ‘Financial Peace University’

On DVD: ‘Paddington’ I have a confession to make — I do not have any children. There, I’ve said it. And yet, I have seen my fair share of family movies, from Disney and Pixar to classics like, “The Princess Bride.” ...
 
 
smith_d2

To do or to be? – A very good question

Col. Daniel Smith I am a huge fan of the Air Force core values. For a long time, I have felt that whatever board or individual developed the values got them absolutely right. In fact, every Airman, young or … seasoned, who co...
 
 
Top-3-Council

Airman — The Air Force asset

The most important asset to the Air Force is the Airman. Regardless of rank, Air Force specialty code, position, gender, age and experience, each of us still needs guidance, validation, and most of all, honesty. So how do you t...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>