Holocaust Memorial Day is
the international day of remembrance for the victims of the
Holocaust and of other genocides and is marked each year on
January 27, the anniversary of the date of the liberation of
Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Last Wednesday, January
27, marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the
camps and, as in previous years, Maybole Branch of the Royal
British Legion Scotland organised a special service at the
Greenside at 11am.
This was led by Fr Stephen
McGrattan, branch chaplain, and marshalled by Alex Davidson. Piper Scott Barrie played
the lament and George Taylor and Janetta Rodger laid wreaths
on behalf of the Legion. Standard bearers were Alex Mills
and Mark McEwan. Poppy crosses were laid by members of the
Legion, pupils from all local schools and members of the
Fr McGrattan said, “On
this day, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is challenging
everyone across the UK to become part of a ‘Legacy of Hope’.
“Today we pause to reflect
on what can happen when racism, prejudice and exclusionary
behaviour are left unchecked. We remember the victims and
honour the survivors of state sponsored hatred in
Nazi-occupied Europe, in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
“During this short service
of remembrance, we take the time to see how the lessons of
the past can play a part in our communities today. We also
pledge to make a stand – that the atrocities of the past
should not happen again and we renew our commitment to
tackle hatred and exclusion head on in order to create a
safer, better future for us all.
“The challenge on this Holocaust Memorial Day
is for us to become part of a ‘Legacy of Hope’. People of
hope have the conviction that, within us and in our world,
we have been created for good. And, although at times, there
is a dark absence of love, by standing firm against
injustice, slavery, exclusion, false judgment, and idolatry
(including idolatry of self) our legacy will plant seeds of
hope for the future.”