The Museum marks its 20th anniversary in 2013, but it has led the nation in annual Days of Remembrance commemorations for much longer. Since 1982, the Museum has organized a national ceremony in the US Capitol rotunda. Congress also tasked the institution with encouraging the nation—in communities large and small—to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.
To help commemoration organizers across the country, the Museum has created a free CD/DVD resource with step-by-step guides for hosting a Days of Remembrance event. The resource also suggests ways to tailor commemorations for religious, military, and general audiences and includes sample proclamations for mayors and governors, as well as press releases. The materials include readings, posters, videos, and suggestions for music to be played at an event. Most importantly, the CD/DVD resource helps organizers ensure historical accuracy in their programs.
Each year the Museum designates a theme for Days of Remembrance. This year’s theme, Never Again: Heeding the Warning Signs, examines the events of 1938, a year when state-sponsored persecution of Jews intensified yet the Holocaust could have been prevented. Why did so many countries and individuals fail to respond to those warning signs of the Holocaust 75 years ago? And what can we learn from the few who chose to act, despite widespread indifference?
We encourage all Americans to seek out a Days of Remembrance event in their area. Check the interactive map on the Museum’s website to find an event near you. If one is not listed, ask at your local town hall, high school, synagogue, or church to find out if they have planned a commemoration you can attend. If none have, consider working with one of those organizations to plan an event. You still have time to request the CD/DVD resource filled with ready-to-use materials on the Museum’s website and add an event to the map of observances.