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WHEREAS, on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), we remember and reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust; and
WHEREAS, the Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution, and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945, in which an estimated six million Jews were murdered alongside millions of other innocent victims — Roma and Sinti, Slavs, disabled people, LGBTQ+ individuals, and others; and
WHEREAS, we honor the memories of precious lives lost, contemplate the incomprehensible wound to our humanity, mourn for the communities broken and scattered, and embrace those who survived the Holocaust; and
WHEREAS, some survivors of the Holocaust are still with us today, embodying extraordinary resilience and remind us of the vital refrain, “never again”; and
WHEREAS, it is the shared responsibility of all people to ensure that the horrors of the Shoah are never erased from our collective memory; and
WHEREAS, today, we must reflect on the rise in anti-Semitism across our country and reaffirm our shared responsibility to combat hate; and
WHEREAS, Yom HaShoah reminds us not only of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, but also reinforces our ongoing duty to counter all forms of dehumanizing bigotry based on race, faith, sexuality, gender, or disability; and
WHEREAS, as we remember the lives of the six million Jews and countless other victims killed during the Holocaust, we must strive to honor the legacy we commemorate on this day by working to build a world that is free from hate and welcoming of all;
WHEREAS, as stated by President Biden, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in honor of all those who survived, we must continue to work toward a better, freer, and more just future for all humankind, promote human dignity, and confront hate whenever and wherever it occurs;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 7-8, 2021, as YOM HASHOAH (HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY) in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.