A CROWD gathered in the Abbey Gardens , in Bury St Edmunds,on Friday to remember those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
The ceremony, led by the Rev Canon Matthew Vernon, was part of Holocaust Memorial Day. The annual day of remembrance is held on January 27 as it was the day the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945.
The chamber choir of St James Middle School sang prayers and a traditional Jewish song at the ceremony and children from Guildhall Feoffment Primary School planted snowdrops in the Abbey’s Holocaust memorial garden.
The Rwandan High Commissioner, His Excellency Ernest Rwamucyo, spoke at the ceremony and said it was important to remember the Holocaust and past genocides and to speak out against discrimination and prejudice.
He said: “After the Holocaust there was a commitment by the world community that this would never happen again.
“The Rwandan genocide happened 50 years after Auchwitz was liberated.
“The idea of never again had become hollow.
“It is an important moment for each one of us to deeply reflect within ourselves what can I do as an individual to speak up and speak out.
“I think we can make a difference but that difference has to happen within each one of us individually.”
Canon Vernon said: “We meet to commit ourselves to tolerant a society where people of difference are respected and the diversity of our human family is celebrated.”