Prime Minister Trudeau attends the National Holocaust Monument site dedication ceremony
Thank you for that introduction, Mélanie.
I’d like to thank everyone for coming here today. All the MPs of course, but particularly highlight Rona Ambrose, leader of the official opposition whose government over the past years worked very hard to make… make this project a reality, and thank you, and I’m honoured to be able to continue in this.
Mr. Tom Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party that has… he has always stood strongly on this stage to share in the obligation to remember that we all have in terms of the Holocaust, in terms of the work we need to continue to do. All the various community leaders assembled here today as well.
This is an important piece of how Ottawa will showcase the fact that we and Canada, indeed, that we remember and that we will never forget.
I want to thank Rabbi Friedman and acknowledge the efforts of Fran Sonshine, chair of the National Holocaust Monument Development Council along with her board who have worked so hard to make this important memorial a reality.
Just this past July I was privileged to watch the ground… walk the grounds of Auschwitz with Nate Leipciger who unfortunately wasn’t able to join us here today. It was a tremendously moving experience and it will stay with me forever.
This monument honours the memory of over 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. It also pays tribute to the persecuted Roma and Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as victims from the disabled, LGBTQ, and other communities. It stands as a reminder of the evils of antisemitism and reminds us of the courage, hope, and perseverance of those who survived.
It speaks to strength in the face of unbearable adversity and it also speaks to the dangers of intolerance and discrimination.
With this important symbol, we are confronted with the heartbreaking realities of the past, unspeakable acts of destruction, and the suffering that men, women, and children endured.
We are here to remember the enormity of the crime that was committed and, especially, to remember our responsibility to act and to defend the values of equality and justice at the heart of our country. It is our duty to teach our children that hatred and intolerance have no place in our society, that we must protect the rights of each individual in order to ensure the liberty of all people. After all, let us never forget that diversity is a source of incredible strength for any society. And more than ever, we will be silent and… sorry… and never again will we be silent in the face of injustice and discrimination, in any form.
We must stand together to protect our values and speak up against those who elevate themselves by pushing others down. As Canadians and as citizens of the world, we must fight the hatred and the fear that once fueled such deplorable acts.
May we never forget the stories of these victims and the important lessons of the Holocaust.
Once again, I wish to thank all those who have joined us today to pay tribute to the victims of this tragedy.