South Tyneside Honours Holocaust Victims
Community representatives and schoolchildren from across South Tyneside came together this week for a poignant ceremony marking Holocaust Memorial Day.
The memorial service, which was held in South Shields Town Hall included poems and prayers led by Father Michael Weymes, the Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, Councillor Tracey Dixon and Yusef Abdulla.
Children from Westoe and Hadrian primary schools and Mortimer Community College also featured in the service where they placed leaves on a special 'Tree of Life', with each leaf making a pledge for what they will do to help 'keep the memory alive'.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick, who was joined by the Mayoress, Mrs Jean Williamson, said: "It is incredibly important to come together to remember all those who lost their lives, or were affected by such terrible atrocities against humanity.
"This year is particularly important as 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the ending of the Second World War, and the ending of the Holocaust. 2020 also marks the 25th anniversary of the Bosnian genocide.
"It was pleasing to see communities unite to take part in this global event and remember all the victims around the world, and the generations affected by genocide."
The ceremony included the lighting of candles by representatives of the community.
Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance for victims of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and more recent acts of genocide in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day was Stand Together. It reflects on how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies and how individuals can stand together with their neighbours and speak out against suffering.