'We must never forget' - Holocaust and genocide victims mourned at memorial ceremony
PUBLISHED: 13:32 28 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:38 28 January 2019
The millions of people killed in genocides throughout history were remembered at a poignant Holocaust Memorial Day service in Lowestoft.
Members of the public, council representatives and Waveney MP Peter Aldous gathered at the town’s railway station to pay their respects to those who lost their lives during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
In keeping with annual tradition, Lowestoft mayor Ian Graham and Waveney District Council deputy chairman Paul Light laid wreaths in recognition of the arrival of a Kindertransport train at the station in 1938.
The train carried more than 200 Jewish children and a number of other refugees escaping persecution prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.
In a speech at the ceremony, Mr Light said: “This is an incredibly important occasion as it encourages us to remember what went before and not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
“The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘Torn From Home’, something we can barely imagine. It is almost impossible to think people like you and me could face such unimaginable hardship.
“We must promise never to forget the victims of all genocides and to create a better world for our children.”
The Rev Matthew Payne, from Christ Church in Lowestoft, read emotional extracts from The Colour of Darkness, a book written by his friend Lesley Bilinda about the tragic events of 1994 in Rwanda.
Mr Payne told of spending five months there in 1986 and crossing paths with Ms Bilinda, who later met and married a Rwandan man. When the genocide began she was out of the country and never saw her husband again.
Mr Aldous reflected on why it is so crucial to remember the victims of genocides in years gone by.
“The Holocuast, which we must never forgot, is going further into history as more and more survivors sadly pass away,” he added.
“At the same time there is, quite shockingly, an upturn in genocide around the world and we’ve got to nip it in the bud - it is absolutely horrific.
“Events like this, in very poignant settings, bring home the horrors that man does to man and we must make sure we never do it again.”