Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis gives opening remarks during Fort Jackson’s Days of Remembrance ceremony. Days of Remembrance was established to remember the survivors, those who lost their lives and the liberators of the Holocaust.

Fort Jackson honors Days of Remembrance

By Tom Byrd, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Fort Jackson personnel took part in this year’s Days of Remembrance ceremony at Centennial Park April 28 by presenting displays and listening to the words of Henry Goldberg as he reminded the audience of this year’s theme of “determination, hope and honor.”

Each year, the United States Holocaust Memorial leads the nation in commemorating Days of Remembrance. During the week, the nation honors and remembers the victims of the Holocaust and their liberators.

During the Holocaust, more than 6 million Jews and roughly 5 million others the Nazis targeted for racial, political, ideological and behavioral reasons died. Adolf Hitler’s final solution was the systematic genocide of the Jewish people.

Fort Jackson’s ceremony began with a prayer in Hebrew and English.

Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis, Fort Jackson commanding general, opened the ceremony by reminding everyone of the themes of this year’s remembrance.

“It’s a tribute to the resiliency of the survivors, a celebration of the protectors and liberators, and a memorial to the fallen,” Michaelis said.

Following opening remarks from Michaelis attendees watched a video by Ana Sazonov, the executive director of the Columbia Jewish Federation, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to volunteering to help refugees on the border of Poland and Ukraine.

“We must all educate ourselves and others of the consequence of hate so that “never again” will have a true meaning,” Sazonov said.

Sazonov implored the listeners to do all they can to ensure nothing like the Holocaust happens again.

The day’s final speaker, Henry Goldberg, was the child of Holocaust survivors who recounted his mother’s ordeal as he remembered her telling it.

“I shall never forget the day in April 1945, when a tall, blond American Soldier, came up to me and said we’re going to take care of you now,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg detailed his mother’s journey from being a young girl at the start of the war, to the struggles she faced in the work camps and to finally being liberated by the Americans.

“It was a day in which I had almost been afraid to dream of for the last six years,” Goldberg quoted his mother saying.

Seventy-seven years after the end of the Second World War, remembering those who lost their lives and the survivors of the Holocaust is one way we can ensure these atrocities are never repeated.

“We must illuminate the future with the lessons of the past and allow it to guide our actions toward a better world,” Michaelis said.