OVER 100 people, young and old, braved the cold weather last week (Friday 26 January) at the Palmer’s Rest Garden in High View Avenue to pay their respects and mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
The annual event – themed on ‘The Power of Words’ – reminds us to condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism and to value a free, tolerant and democratic society.
Rev Canon Darren Barlow opened the event and led the service.
Children and their teachers from local schools joined the commemoration.
Those gathered were reminded of the importance of remembering all atrocities throughout history, like those seen in Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur and more recently Syria.
The leader of the Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, attended the morning but was too unwell to deliver his speech. Cllr James Halden kindly took his place and read aloud: “Words can be used to inspire good and outline the things that we want to do for the betterment of others. Equally, words can be used to inspire hatred and fear.
“We’re here to remember some of the most despicable acts humanity has ever committed against itself – to ensure that words inspire us all not to forget evil acts but to ensure we never repeat them.”
Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Tunde Ojetola, said: “I have attended many of these events in the past, and I am always touched by the strong turn out from young and old, from different faiths and from different parts of Thurrock to commemorate the Holocaust.”