A poignant afternoon of commemoration will be held in South Tyneside next week to mark national Holocaust Memorial Day.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Olive Punchion, will lead the annual memorial service on Friday at 11am, in the Reception Room of South Shields Town Hall.
The ceremony will remember the communities which suffered as a result of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution as well as more recent acts of genocide in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘The Power of Words’ and reflects the importance of ensuring the stories and experiences of those affected are not lost in time and continue to be passed on to others.
The Mayor said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a day to honour all those who survived these terrible atrocities and to ensure that the horrendous crimes, racism and victimisation committed are neither forgotten nor repeated.
“By continuing to mark this important event, we can help to show future generations that we are completely opposed to what has happened and that we will use the lessons of the past to challenge discrimination today and in the future.
“The day also gives communities and opportunity to come together and send out a clear message that condemns all forms of hatred and racism.”
The service will include an introduction by Canon John Miller, of St Michael’s Church, as well as readings and prayers.
A group of children from local primary schools will also place leaves on a special ‘Tree of Life’, with each leaf making a pledge to help ‘keep the memory alive’.
The ceremony will also include the lighting of seven candles by representatives of the community.
The event is free and open to all. For further information, call the Civic Office on (0191) 424 7311.