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Permitting use of Rotunda for Holocaust Days of Remembrance Ceremony

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding me this time, for his leadership in bringing this bill forward, as well as the gentlewoman from California.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this important resolution, H. Con. Res. 350, permitting the use of the United States Capitol rotunda to observe Yom Hashoah, the Day of Remembrance, for victims of the Holocaust.

Mr. Speaker, it is our obligation to remember with great reverence and respect the victims of the Holocaust and to tell their story to all generations. It is our duty to never forget.

More than 70 years ago, a tyrant as evil as any known in the history of man rose to power preaching an agenda of hate and racial superiority. His shadow caused darkness to fall upon the Earth. He slew the innocent and pure, men, women, and children, with vapors of poison and burned them with fire. And when the light of freedom shined again, tens of millions lay dead, cities and nations lay in ruin, and a world stood awestruck at the horrors that had occurred.

Ironically, Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim. On this day we read the Book of Esther, which tells of, in this case, another attempted genocide perpetrated against the Jewish people. Like Hitler, Haman wanted to annihilate the Jewish people from existence. Yet unlike the Holocaust, the Jewish people were able to rally an army and defend themselves against that attempted genocide. And on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Adar, the Jewish people take this opportunity to remember that threat and to celebrate their survival.

Sadly, today, we still face totalitarian regimes led by maniacal dictators who threaten the peace and stability of the world. The rotunda of the U.S. Capitol represents the seat of free and open discourse, the foundation of our democracy, and is an anathema to those tyrannical leaders and their regimes.

We in the U.S., the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, enjoy a great deal of freedom. We must not take those freedoms for granted. We must not forget that genocide and human rights abuses continue to occur around the world. We must not remain silent when such atrocities occur. And we must dedicate ourselves to continuing to educate people around the globe about the horrors of the Holocaust. We must be forever mindful of the danger of such intolerance and ensure that it never happens again.


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