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Rubio Commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Jan 27, 2014 | Blog

On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we honor the millions of innocent people who were killed in what will forever be remembered as one of the darkest chapters in human history.

This day in 1945 marked the liberation of Auschwitz and the beginning of a long journey of grief, heartache and recovery for all those subjected to severe torment and unimaginable conditions throughout the Holocaust. Sadly, liberation by the allied forces came too late to save the 1.1 million who died in Auschwitz and the millions more killed in similar concentration camps. But we give thanks that so many were saved and given a chance to rebuild their lives, their families and their communities.

The Holocaust will forever stand as a grave example of the terrifying capabilities of evil, the dangers of absolute power, and the price the world pays when it turns a blind eye to oppression. But it also stands as an emblem of extraordinary resilience and courage; a marker of the power of faith, hope and love in surmounting even the worst horrors imaginable.

Florida is home to many Holocaust survivors, as well as their descendants. I’ll never forget the few times that I have had the humbling experience of meeting a Holocaust survivor and seeing the concentration camp numbers forever marked on their skin. We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who decided not to repress their painful memories but instead to share them with younger generations. Their courageous work and advocacy has been critical in making sure that “never again” will the world know of a human tragedy like the Holocaust.

Today is a particularly solemn day for many millions of Jewish people throughout the world, including in the nation of Israel. I remember how deeply affected I was by my visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel, and the depictions there of the terrors inflicted upon the Jewish people. As Americans, we are reminded that “never again” means standing with our Israeli friends in the face of threats from nations and terrorist organizations committed to her destruction.

My wife Jeanette and I hold all who perished or were impacted by the Holocaust in our prayers on this solemn day of grief, reflection and remembrance.