March to Remember Holocaust Victims Scheduled for April 28, 2019
People of faith from across the region will gather Sunday afternoon, April 28, in Canton for the 2019 Van Zandt County March of Remembrance (MoR) honoring survivors of the Holocaust. The event will begin with a brief assembly at 1:30 p.m. on the steps of the Van Zandt County Courthouse.
County Judge Don Kirkpatrick will welcome those assembled. He will present a proclamation, approved by the County Commissioners Court in their April meeting, declaring “April 2019 Holocaust Remembrance Month.” Following prayer by Pastor Dr. David Christine of Oakland Baptist Church, the prayer walk will begin. From the courthouse the march will proceed along S. Buffalo St. and turn right on College Street for approximately one mile to Victory Church, 1200 W. College St., where the program will begin at 2:30.
The public is invited to participate in the event remembering the 11 million victims of the Holocaust, of whom approximately 6 million were Jews, and honoring those who survived. Participants in the march will be given a yellow star to wear with the name of one of the 2 million Jewish children killed in the Holocaust printed on the back. Jews were forced by the Nazis to wear a yellow star on their clothing with the word “Jude” to identify them as Jews.
“As evidenced by the 11 Jews killed in an attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh six months ago, anti-Semitism is very much alive in the U.S.,” said Gary Vawter, event coordinator. “That’s why it is important for the Christian community to participate in events like March of Remembrance, to show their solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors. We cannot afford to remain complacent or silent in the face of anti-Semitism.”
Holocaust survivor, Alexandra Goode, who as a teenager survived Dachau concentration camp and Rugen labor camp in Germany, will be one of the very special guests this year. She will speak about her surviving the camps.
Returning this year will be Simon and Carol Wellner of Temple Beth Shalom in Austin. Both of them are children of Holocaust survivors. Carol will talk about how her father was in Mauthausen concentration camp and was liberated in emaciated condition by the American troops at the war’s end. Carol’s mother and aunts hid from the Nazis in forests, and were dependent on the help of sympathetic non-Jews to survive.
Canton resident, Rose Scott, who as a teenager survived interrogations and torture by the Gestapo in Vienna, Austria during WWII, will also be in attendance. A biography of Rose’s experiences during the war will be available for purchase after the program.
Another special guest will be Rabbi Michael Wallace of Adonai Yemaleh Zoht Messianic Synagogue in Tyler.
In addition to Judge Kirkpatrick, other area public officials and pastors will include Pastor Dr. Michael Burns of Victory Church in Canton, State Representative Dan Flynn, Pastor Dr. David Christine of Oakland Baptist Church in Canton, Mayor Lou Ann Everett of Canton, Pastor Raul Quezada of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Canton, and Pastor Randy Sadler of New Frontiers Cowboy Church in Canton.
A key part of the program will be a special lamp-lighting service featuring area pastors and students from Bullard High School. Six candles will be lit, each one representing a million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Flowers, provided by Billy Rose Floral, will be laid remembering the 5 million non-Jews who also perished in the Holocaust, and the Righteous Gentiles who tried to help Jews escape the Nazis.
“Having local pastors light the candles will show the unity of the church in declaring ‘Never again! Not now! Not ever,’” said Vawter.
Award winning Oral Interpretation students from Bullard High School will present monologues from “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” by Celeste Raspanti. Raspanti’s book is a collection of poetry by Jewish children who lived in the concentration camp Theresienstadt. Twelve thousand children and adolescents passed through the camp from 1942-1944. More than 90 percent of the children who were there perished during the Holocaust.
This is the second year that VZC March of Remembrance has sponsored a student Holocaust essay contest. During the program at Victory Church, the winners of the MoR student essay contest will be recognized and awarded prizes provided by three Canton businesses and a local church: The Gathering Place House of Prayer, Class Act Consultants, Hall Chevrolet Buick GMC, and Walmart.
Additionally, a Canton dance troupe will performs Jewish-inspired dance while a student choir from Brook Hill School in Bullard performs two Jewish songs.
Following the program cookies provided by Buttermilk’s Scratch Kitchen and bottled water provided by Brookshire’s will be served. Everyone is encouraged to stay and visit with the speakers and special guests.
Information about March of Remembrance can be found on the web at: www.marchofremembrance.org. For information specific to the Canton event, check out our Facebook page or our website at www.VanZandt-Remembers.org. If interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Vawter by email at email@example.com.
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