Days of Remembrance and Yom Hashoah 2016


WHEREAS, the Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945 in which six million Jews were murdered; and

WHEREAS, Roma, people with disabilities, and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation on the basis of race, ethnicity, or nationality; and millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny; and 

WHEREAS, the history of the Holocaust offers an opportunity to reflect on the moral responsibilities of individuals, societies, and governments; and

WHEREAS, the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia should always remember the terrible events of the Holocaust and remain vigilant against hatred, persecution, and tyranny; and

WHEREAS, Virginians should actively rededicate themselves to the principles of individual freedom and a just society; and

WHEREAS, the Days of Remembrance have been set aside for Virginians to remember the victims of the Holocaust and to reflect on the need for respect of all peoples; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to an Act of Congress (Public Law 96-388, October 7, 1980), the United States Holocaust Memorial Council designates the Days of Remembrance for Holocaust victims from Sunday, May 1 through Sunday, May 8, 2016, including the Day of Remembrance known as Yom Hashoah, beginning the evening of May 5-6, 2016;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize Sunday, May 1-8, 2016, DAYS OF REMEMBRANCE, and May 5, 2016, as YOM HASHOAH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in honor of the survivors, rescuers and liberators, and further proclaim that we, as citizens, should work to promote human dignity and confront hate whenever and wherever it occurs.