MORE than a hundred people gathered at the High View Memorial Gardens in Grays on Monday (27 January) morning to mark International Holocaust Day.
Organised by Thurrock Council and Thurrock Faith Matters, the event culminated with the unveiling of a permanent Holocaust memorial.
Two years ago young people who visited the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau were also at the Memorial Gardens for that year’s event. They saw the traditional laying of stones, but were disappointed that the stones were removed afterwards.
They managed to raise £600 towards creating a permanent memorial and with the help of Madstone Ltd – the East Tilbury stonemason company which provided design, manpower and materials – the new monument will provide the focus for future events.
Monday’s event heard from Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Tony Fish, Leader of the Council, Cllr John Kent, and Conservative Leader, Cllr Phil Anderson.
Cllr Fish said: “It is incumbent upon each and every one of us who is just one step removed from the Holocaust to make sure younger people today know – and more importantly understand – what happened.”
And he concluded: “Only last week, we heard of thousands of deaths in Syria, not on the same scale perhaps, but a tragedy every one.
“This just shows that we have yet to make the world realise that killing people is not the way forward and that we all have to redouble our efforts to make sure this message is heard by all, far and wide.”
Other speakers were the Rev Darren Barlow, and Ced Ambridge who read the Jewish blessing Shim Shalom and the Rev Barlow led the audience in a reading of a Statement of Commitment.