Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Holocaust Memorial Day

Honourable senators, the philosopher and historian George Santayana taught us that those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to relive it.
 
Today is Yom Hashoah, the day of remembrance of the Holocaust that witnessed the virtual destruction of European Jewry and the wanton murder of 6 million Jews solely because they were Jews.
 
April 21 is also the date that corresponds to the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which is the twenty-seventh day of Nissan on the Jewish calendar. In English, the full name of Yom Hashoah is Remembrance Day for the Holocaust and Heroism, the commemoration of the destruction of European Jewry and a day of recognition for the heroism of those Jews who somehow procured arms and fought the Nazi murderers.
 
Yet, 6 million innocent lives were snuffed out; the number defies imagination. Of the 6 million people who were destroyed, 1.5 million were children. It is not hard to imagine how many artists, writers, musicians, mathematicians, doctors, geneticists, teachers, scientists and researchers would have come from those destroyed lives.
 
It is an overwhelming and heart-rending truth, one that led to a simple and unfortunately unobserved dictum: Never again. . . .