Tana Senn, Representative, 41 Dist.
I wanted to share with you some great things that happened yesterday in the Washington State House of Representatives related to recognizing the Holocaust Remembrance Day. I gave the morning’s prayer (below) and we passed a resolution (linked on this page and available as a pdf below the prayer.)
“On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask us to remember the survivors:
Not only the 6 million Jews and millions of others, but individuals
Like my 5 foot 2 great granny Selma who despite enduring the horrors of Auschwitz and Theresienstadt, was the most gentle and loving woman.
And like my grandmother, who was a Holocaust refugee, narrowly escaping the physical atrocities of the camps, but not escaping the emotional wounds of surviving.
On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask us to remember the liberators:
The military men and women—relatives of some in this very chamber--who witnessed the results of the horrors of what men can do to one another
When they liberated hundreds of starving, emaciated and terrified Jews, and other concentration camp survivors, carrying those scenes and stories in their minds forever
On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask us to remember the up-standers:
Who at great peril to their own lives and families, hid, protected, fed and smuggled out Jews, Roma, LGBTQ members and others
Knowing they must do what is humane, no matter the cost.
On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ALSO ask us to remember the by-standers:
Those who didn’t speak up when the water started to warm but feigned shock when it boiled over
Those who refused humanitarian aid or protection to women, children, the elderly who were their neighbors, friends and business partners solely because of their religion
And the US who turned away ships of refugees who were returned to Eastern Europe to face almost certain death.
On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask us to think about who WE are and who WE want to be.
Many in this body are survivors: of racism, gun violence, sexual assault, discrimination, intolerance or misunderstanding
Many are liberators: teachers who are freeing the next generation from ignorance, first responders who rescue a family from their burning home or ailing body, attorneys and social workers who are helping fight injustice and guide people through an unfamiliar system.
Many are upstanders---and we all are bystanders as well.
We have for too long stood by institutional racism, anti-Asian violence, anti-Semitism, discrimination against those with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community
On this Day of Remembrance, I beseech each one of us to look within ourselves and find the survivor, the liberator, the upstander and the bystander. And today, make a conscious choice as to who we will be today and going forward."
- Tana Senn, 41st Legislative District, Washingtion State Legislature
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