Leader’s blog – Friday 26 January 2024

The leader reflects on the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Cllr Tony Cox wearing a navy blue suit jacket, white shirt and a pink, blue and white flowery tie. He is sitting in front of the Council Coat of Arms.

At this time of year, it's more important than ever for us to all come together and take a moment to remember the victims and those affected by the Holocaust and subsequent atrocities, in the hope that there may be a day in the future with no genocide.

This year we have three events planned to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Today, I joined the Mayor of Southend, Cllr Stephen Habermel, along with the Jewish community leaders to plant a tree at The Ridgeway, Chalkwell, in memory of those who were murdered in the Nazi death camps and other genocides across the world such as Cambodia and Rwanda. The weather was kind to us, and the sun shone as we all took a moment to remember those less fortunate than ourselves.

On Sunday 28 January the commemoration service takes place at 3pm at the Civic Centre Council Chamber and both residents and visitors are welcome to join us and I hope to meet some of you there. The service will include music, poetry and readings, and an address by holocaust survivor Mr Ivan Shaw BEM, accompanied by his son Philip Shaw. The event this year will reflect on the fragility of freedom, and how easy it is to take it for granted.

In an age of troubled times across the world, the service will also act as a reminder to remain grateful for the freedoms we have every day, for the relative luxuries of our lives, even in this time of financial difficulty, and the support and togetherness we enjoy as a local community.

Some of you may have already seen the exhibitions of work dedicated to the unique stories of the Holocaust that have been on display at The Forum since last Tuesday. If you haven't had a chance to see this yet it is being moved today (Friday) and will be available to view at the commemoration service at the Civic Centre this Sunday.

If you don't get a chance to join us on Sunday, the service will also be available to watch online from next Tuesday 30 January.

I hope as many residents as possible will be able to join us in some way to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, it's been an honour to be involved this year.

Have a good weekend,

Cllr Tony Cox,
Leader of the Council

Published: 26th January 2024

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