PERMITTING USE OF ROTUNDA OF CAPITOL FOR CEREMONY AS PART OF COMMEMORATION OF DAYS OF REMEMBRANCE OF VICTIMS OF HOLOCAUST -- (House of Representatives - February 10, 2004)
Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 359) permitting the use of the rotunda of the Capitol for a ceremony as part of the commemoration of the days of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust.
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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I wish to associate myself with the remarks of the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica).
Mr. Speaker, I rise with a great deal of humility and strong support for House Concurrent Resolution 359, authorizing the use of the Capitol rotunda for the Days of Remembrance ceremony on April 22.
During the week of April 18, similar Holocaust remembrance days will take place all across this country, as the distinguished gentleman from Florida pointed out. As this body has done every year since 1979, Congress will use the historic rotunda location to reflect on one of the most painful moments in all of world history: the Holocaust.
This very special day of remembrance, along with the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, was established by Congress to permanently honor these victims. They were created not only to remember those who perished but also to educate the world about human rights.
The 2004 Days of Remembrance asks us to honor the memory of the Jews of Hungary, who were deported 60 years ago in the final stages of World War II, and to honor those courageous individuals as well as the few organizations and countries who attempted to rescue them. This year's theme is "For Justice and Humanity." It has specific poignancy for me as a Member from Connecticut, knowing that Hadassah Lieberman's mother was part of that.
I had the honor in Connecticut as Senate President to preside over the Days of Remembrances for 8 years. I often reflect on how solemn and important those ceremonies were, and still are. I can still see the survivors and their family members coming forward to light the candles and the solemnness of the occasion.
Given the current conflicts around the world, it is especially important to remember the message of the Holocaust victims who said, do not forget us. We cannot forget them or the evil that sent them to their deaths. Tragically, we need only to watch the nightly news to realize that this evil still exists in the world.
The ceremony we are authorizing today reminds us that when we respect the lessons of the past, we strengthen the values of every future generation.
Mr. Speaker, I urge passage of this concurrent resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.