Roma Holocaust Memorial Event

CDA Kostelancik at a Roma Holacust event (Embassy photo: Attila Nemeth)

Roma Holocaust Memorial Event
Memorial to Roma Victims of the Holocaust
Nehru Quay, August 2, 2017
— as delivered —

Dear friends, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen.  István Vadászi, thank you for inviting me here today. And thank you all for coming to remember this dark and senseless tragedy and to ensure its victims are never forgotten. We remember those who are not here and should be, those whose lives were stolen and along with them, all of their hopes, and dreams, and plans for the future. As we remember them, we must firmly resolve that tragedies like the Roma Holocaust never happen again.

And if we intend to prevent such evil, good men and women must never be silent. In the face of inhumanity, we cannot remain passive. We must stand together as one another’s defenders and never allow the weak, the vulnerable, and the marginalized among us to be persecuted, victimized, or dehumanized. We must practice not just tolerance, but acceptance and understanding in our lives, every single day. We must reach out to those who are different from us and build the bonds of community. We must teach our children what it means to love others and to see our common humanity reflected in the face of a stranger. We must extend the promise of equality to every man, woman, and child, no matter where they came from, what they look like, or how they worship.

It is incumbent upon us to ensure that future generations never forget the horrible toll that comes when a society stirs up fears of those who are different, when it deems some categories of people unworthy, or less than human. Our only hope for a more just, prosperous, and peaceful future is to recognize each other as brothers and sisters.  To reject extremism, xenophobia, and hatred, no matter what form they take.

Today, it is my solemn duty and honor to lay a wreath at this memorial to the victims of the Roma Holocaust.  May the memory of this unspeakable crime be our clarion call to action. Let us never again allow ourselves to be ruled by hatred, ignorance, or fear. Let us build a world in which all are accepted and all are valued.  Where we realize there is no such thing as an insignificant person and we are all created in the image of the divine.

Thank you all for being here and for your commitment to a better world. Szeretném megköszönni a meghívásukat.