516th Sig. Bde. hosts Days of Remembrance events

| May 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

1st Lt. David Richards
516th Signal Brigade, 311th Sig. Command

311th Signal Command

311th Signal Command

FORT SHAFTER — The 516th Signal Brigade, 311th Sig. Command, sponsored the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s annual Days of Remembrance ceremonies at the Fort Shafter Flats’ Assembly Hall, May 3, and Schofield Barracks’ Sgt. Smith Theater, May 4.

The Days of Remembrance are a national, weeklong observance memorializing Holocaust victims that was established by executive order in 1978. The Days of Remembrance and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, or USHMM, seek to “prevent genocide, combat hatred and promote dignity and respect for all humans.”

Col. Dana Tankins, commander, 516th Sig. Bde., and Lt. Col. Paul Fischer, deputy commander, 516th Sig. Bde., hosted the respective events and welcomed Carol Danks, USHMM, to discuss the theme, “Justice and Accountability in the Face of Genocide: What Have We Learned?”

Danks sought to make the Holocaust as intimate as possible for the audience. When attendees first entered the venues, they were handed an identification card that described the personal details and life story of a Holocaust survivor.

Inside the venues, 1,100 names hung on 22 banners on the walls. The names totaled only a fraction of the six million victims of the Holocaust, including Jews, homosexuals, the disabled and mentally ill, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses and more ethnic, religious and political outcasts of the Nazi Party.

During the presentation, Danks provided survivor testimonies, video footage and chilling historical facts to help raise awareness of the importance of remembering the heinous acts committed during the Holocaust.

“As history recedes into the past, we must be conscious of the ways in which this history resonates with us today,” she said. “We need to remember.”

At the Nuremburg Trials, held from November 1945 to October 1946, 24 living Nazi members were tried through an International Military Tribunal and held responsible for their crimes.

As a result of these trials, Danks explained future human rights violations would be examined according to three premises: Individuals can be held responsible regardless of orders, individuals and states can be held responsible for crimes against civilians and there is no statute of limitations for crimes against humanity.

The trials gave way to a renewed understanding of genocide and, today, help to facilitate a response to the question: “What have we learned?”

Audiences learned that the Holocaust led to notable developments in sociology, psychology, leadership, warfare and international law — all immensely important to the military community.

Despite these improvements in knowledge and understanding, Danks listed Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur as countries where genocide continues today and emphasized that the world needs to take a stand against humanitarian crimes.

The crucial message that arose from the presentations was that every generation and every individual must make the commitment to protect human rights. This is best stated by British philosopher Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Tags: , , ,

Category: News, Observances

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *