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The March of Remembrance and Hope: a collision of past, present and hope Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by S, Canada Jun 22, 2008
Human Rights , Peace & Conflict   Opinions


The March of Remembrance and Hope: a collision of past, present and hope If you have not experienced injustice in your life, well, some might say you’re pretty lucky. But if you have not experienced genocide in your life, many would agree that you are definitely blessed. This past May I embarked on a trip that I was told would be a life-changing experience. It turned out to be much more than that.

The trip or program I am referring to is formally known as the “March of Remembrance and Hope (2008)”. It began with intense orientation in Toronto, Canada. Then it was translocated to Germany for a two-day introduction to the events that led up to one of the greatest human tragedies in history- the Holocaust. Our final stop was in Poland, where many of the now silent witnesses of these atrocities remain in spirit, among the buried dust and ashes.

The purpose of this program, which is hosted by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and the National (Canadian) Jewish Campus Life, was to do a lot more than to simply educate a handful (60 males and females) of Canadian students and young adults about the realities of the Holocaust. This program sought to take young leaders like you and me and engage us in the possibility of living in a world (our world) without hate, evil or injustice. Thus, as the title of the program suggests, the students who journeyed on this 10-day long program were encouraged to remember the sins of the past and to reflect on new hope for the future.

Although the program was heavily subsidized, therefore allowing youth from all socio-economic backgrounds to take part in the MRH experience first-hand, this was no free trip. What I mean is that every day each participant journeyed deeper and deeper emotionally, physically and spiritually. For some, this came out in their tears and, for others, in long stances of silent reflection and prayer.

I have experienced injustice first-hand, but I have not experienced genocide. Yet after hearing the narratives of Holocaust survivors, seeing the gas chambers and coming face-to-face with the thousands of possessions (including human hair) of all those who saw the face of evil and possibly lost their very lives as a consequence, I was more committed to being a part of the change that would end injustice for all.

Throughout the trip I held back my tears, not out of shame, but out of hope- my living hope in Jesus Christ and in God who is my justice. You see, preventing injustice takes more than just trying to understand the logic and rationale behind its occurrence (an impossible task if I do say so myself). It takes hope, hope that where there is justice there will also be no injustice, and that where there is love there will also be no hate.

Before the Holocaust, and since then, there have been many genocides and other forms of immense human suffering. But that does mean that genocide and other forms of discrimination are an inevitable part of human existence, because this is simply not true. Gandhi once said that we should be the change we want to see in the world. I implore all of you, my brothers and sisters alike, to be the justice you want to see in the world, and to be the love you want to see in the world. We only have one life to live, and I pray that you and I both choose to live our lives for good.

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Anne Frank, November 9, 1942

Paix and Shalom

For more information about this amazing experience, please visit http://www.remembranceandhope.com/



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My name is Sheridy and I am interested in the diversity of things that our world has to offer. I also express a strong commitment to social justice through faith and social works.

it is touching!
Kibrom Michael | Aug 21st, 2008
Dearest Sheridy,it's touching.What i dont understand is that it is still present everywhere in the world.I really don't know what will make it stop,as there are different motives behind it.What or who do you think will make a difference in situations which are likely to lead in to a genocide?A change?What does it take to make a change when we have seen that the holocaust has been repeated in in different parts of the world in a different way?What kind of lesson willl really change us?How many more shall be killed so that we learn how horrible it is?How dreadful its aftermath is on those who escaped it miracleously?Think of the situations which are going to lead to genocide right now.I am saying right now!!!!!What are we doing?Who is responsible for those who are going to be the victims of it?Sister,it really makes u hopeless when u think of it,cos it is inevitable.I don't understand why.Can any one come up with a practical idea which can stop it?

Thank you!
Katherine Walraven | Oct 2nd, 2008
Dear Sheridy, It sounds like this was a really life-changing experience for you, and as inspiring as it was disheartening and depressing. It never ceases to amaze me how human beings are responsible for both immense cruelty, suffering, and injustice and also for equally powerful positive ideas and actions. I have no doubt that the positive and the brighter forces will win out, but we must all engage in this struggle. Thank you for being part of the positive force, and also for sharing your story!

AYOMIDE ATITEBI | Jul 8th, 2012
Dear Sheridy, I have had the privilege of reading this article and can not but doff my hat for you in view of the artistic presentation of the ensuing events contained therein,the analytical narration and indeed,the clarity of thought. More importantly,I acknowledge your sense of social conscience which has driven you so perfectly to resolve deep within you,to be agent of change in a world of arrant injustice.Indeed,we must learn more of the fatal,fearful process of thought which makes people feel not only justified,but that they have a sense of duty to destroy others! If you do not mind,I want us to get to know each other better since to me,we seem to share similar views in respect of the issue of justice.My e-mails are: atitmide@yahoo.com and atitebiayomide@gmail.com. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.Thanks.

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