NORFOLK (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) hosted a Holocaust memorial observance ceremony in the ship's hangar bay to promote awareness of the tragic events during World War II and educate Sailors May 13.
Sailors gathered together to listen to a speech delivered by India Meisel, a local educator, and hear the inspiring story of Hanns Loewenbach, a Holocaust survivor.
Loewenbach, a German-born Jew who escaped Germany during the late 1930s, recounted in detail his experiences living under the persecution of the Nazi government.
Loewenbach stressed that Germany at the time was a democracy, and even democracies can allow great injustices. He described how Germans turned from boycotts to murder in less than a decade. Among other points, he noted that it would be tragic for the world to forget what happened during the Holocaust and miss this valuable lesson, a sentiment that was echoed in Meisel's address.
"The Holocaust is a subject that we cannot let just slip by," said Meisel. "We are losing our survivors, and we are losing the ideas that we need to carry on to future generations to prevent future genocides."
"[The speakers] summed it up very well for me," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Johnathan Karg. "The Holocaust is something that I've really liked learning about and hearing about the struggles of the people and all the survivors that they were brave enough to come out and tell their stories."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, each Sailor in attendance lit a candle to symbolize those who passed away during the Holocaust.
"The Holocaust may have happened seven decades ago, but we still have genocides occurring in our world today," Meisel said. "We need to act. We cannot just let this become a memory. We cannot let what happened become a page in a history book."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.