Welwyn Hatfield marks Holocaust Memorial Day
PUBLISHED: 16:16 28 January 2019
Kevin Lines Photography
Two special events took place today for the Welwyn Hatfield community to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
Organised in partnership with the Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith Group, local schools came together in the morning to give a series of short performances around this year’s theme ‘Torn from Home’.
The theme encouraged reflection on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide.
Melody Cremer from Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School and four pupils from the Ridgeway Academy gave talks on the Holocaust.
Onslow students performed poems and short stories about Nazi persecution and original poems were written and performed by Stanborough School about the Rwandan Genocide.
Chancellor’s concluded the school performances with a drama piece about events in Darfur.
This was followed by a tribute on The Campus in WGC, including readings, two minutes’ silence and the releasing of symbolic peace doves. The events were attended by the Mayor and the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss.
The Lord Lieutenant gave a very moving address, drawing on a his own family’s experience of the Holocaust and how the effects are still being felt today, more than 75 years on.
Welwyn Hatfield mayor, councillor Barbara Fitzsimon, said: “We saw some incredibly moving performances and artwork today, and I’d like to thank the schools for their hard work and creativity in telling such impactful stories.
“It’s so important for our younger generations to take the lessons of the past to help us build a better future.”
Wendy Lidgate, from the Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith Group, said: “I hope today inspired everyone to consider what we can do by our own actions to keep society safe in the future.
“It certainly did for me and my gratitude goes out to the schools and the council for all their efforts to make today so poignant for our community.”
After the ceremony there was an opportunity to browse the ‘Torn from Home’ art exhibition, including thought-provoking submissions from local artists, the YMCA Youth Club and the schools taking part.
This exhibition is open in Campus West for the public to browse until February 4.
Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 is the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda, which began in April 1994, and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Genocide in Cambodia, which ended in 1979.