‘What is the Holocaust?’
I am a sophomore at Canon McMillan High School in Canonsburg. I had the privilege of listening to [Moshe Baran] speak of his experiences during the Holocaust. I just wanted to take the time to express my gratitude and thanks for [his] words.
Following the day that I heard [Mr. Baran] speak, I was talking to a friend about what I had heard from him and his wife in the video. I mentioned that they were both survivors of the Holocaust. She asked me, “What is the Holocaust?”
I then realized that if we are supposed to remember and prevent another occurrence such as this one, how can we do it if others aren’t informed?
This is why I am so grateful that [Mr. Baran] had the courage to stand in front of an auditorium filled with hundreds of teenagers and speak of [his] experiences. With [his] words of [his] experiences etched in my brain, and with the memory of hearing [his] wife’s beautifully told stories, I feel that I, even as a teenager, can now pass on those words and stories to others make sure that another horrible piece of history such as the Holocaust never occurs again. I hope to pass [Mr. Baran’s] stories onto my children andgrandchildren, for I feel that by doing so, I can help to remember and prevent.
(Editor’s note: The author originally addressed this letter to Moshe Baran, president of the Holocaust Survivors Association, who recently spoke at Canon-McMillan High School. An edited version is reprinted here with the author’s permission, with the references changed from first to third person.)
Not a celebration
As one who pays keen attention to words, I take issue with a short news brief in the 24 May edition, which advises of a “Memorial Day Celebration.” There is no such thing! There are Memorial Day “observances” and “commemorations,” not “celebrations.”
Surely no one would ever refer to a Yom Hashoa “celebration”; it is a day for remembering those who were slaughtered by the Nazis, including individuals who were members of my family. So, too, do we remember those who gave their lives for our country on Memorial Day. Though some enliven the day through cookouts and shopping, this is an occasion of prayer and giving thanks, not one that is associated with joy or merrymaking.
Upper St. Clair
(Editor’s note: Point well taken. The Homewood Cemetery, not the Chronicle, billed it as a Memorial Day Celebration.)