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Editorial: Taking remembrance a step further

On April 24, 2012

In honor of the Holocaust, our campus held many events on campus recently. While we applaud the efforts to remember and respect the tragic event, there is an even bigger issue at stake that may not immediately come to mind.

The United States had a heavy hand in the Holocaust, compared to other genocides that have occurred throughout history. We had a great deal to do with the ending of WWII, of which the Holocaust was a primary issue. Many refugees and survivors of the Holocaust came to live here in America. Their children and grandchildren are still telling the horrific stories of gas chambers and ovens.

On some level, we spend so much time remembering the Holocaust because it makes most of us feel good that our country essentially ended it, a sort of unconscious nationalism.

So what about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda? Or even the current genocide happening in Darfur?

 It doesn't matter how many people died, or when they died or how they were murdered. If there are people being massacred out there for the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, sexual preference or lifestyle, it's wrong.

One of the basic natural rights every human has is simply the right to live and to live a life free of bullying and persecution, free from having to hide in a small attic for two years so you won't be slaughtered like a sick pig.

It's important that we never forget what happened during the Holocaust. We need to remember the great capacity that humans have for evil, and how we can help to never let ourselves reach our full potential in that respect. We also need to remember that genocide is not something that happened in the past, it's happening right now. And although we as a whole may not be directly involved in its resolution, we need to know that its happening.

Just because something isn't happening in our back yard, it doesn't mean we can ignore it. While the media will throw thousands of hours covering one unjust murder, it's our responsibility to become aware of the massive amounts of unjust killings.

While our country is more progressive and resourceful than, say, Rwanda or Darfur, we can't expect our government to be Superman and swoop in to cure any case of unfairness in the world. So what do we do as the individual, as a simple spec in a zoo of billions of people, each with a differing opinion?

 It's as simple as spreading the word, and the word is love. Love for your mom, love for your math teacher and love for the stranger 6,000 miles away.

 Acknowledging the Holocaust, as well other significant tragedies, reminds us how precious the gift of life is. It reminds us to be kind to each other, no matter how different we each are. Because at the end of the day, we are all human.

 


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