CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The fifth annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in the Cedar Valley will take place at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 3, at the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum (Grout Museum District) in Waterloo.
Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies in the United States are the result of a bill passed unanimously by Congress in 1980 which, among other things, established an eight-day period -- the Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust -- for civic commemorations and special educational programs to help citizens remember and draw lessons from the Holocaust. The 2011 Days of Remembrance are Sunday, May 1, through Sunday, May 8.
This year's ceremony is organized around the theme chosen by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., -- Justice and Accountability in the Face of Genocide: What Have We Learned? This theme is especially appropriate this year, since 2011 is the 65th anniversary of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, which brought to justice leading military and civilian Nazi war criminals. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the trial in Jerusalem of Adolf Eichmann, a high-ranking SS officer who played a central role in the so-called Final Solution, the murder of 6 million Jewish men, women and children.
The May 3 ceremony will include remarks by officials and members of the clergy, musical performances, multimedia presentations, the reading of original poetry by middle school students and the lighting of candles in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides.
The event is free and open to the public. Sponsors of the event are the UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, Sons of Jacob Synagogue, the Cedar Valley Interfaith Council and Catholic Parishes of Waterloo.