A big thank you to everyone who attended our virtual Holocaust Memorial Day event today.
This year looked a little different, with the event taking place virtually across the Teams platform.
The theme of HMD this year was ‘be the light in the darkness’. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.
The virtual event offered Gwent Police the opportunity to remind the public and those who attended the event that the force will not tolerate any form of hate crime.
The event was organised by our diversity and inclusion team, and was attended by Chief Constable Pam Kelly, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Eleri Thomas and various members of south Wales’ multi-faith communities.
Opening the event, Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “This week, we’ve seen the 76th anniversary of the liberation of those held captive in Auschwitz. Over 1.1 million people were murdered in this camp alone.
“This year the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day is be the light in the darkness - and certainly, I’m holding a candle so that today we concentrate on the light in the darkness. Today we pledge that we are the shining light through our testimony, that we confront denial, distortion and misinformation and we accept our responsibility to be the light.”
Closing the event, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Eleri Thomas said: “Across the world the pandemic, political pressures and social and economic anxieties have caused an increase in community tension. Sadly, discrimination still occurs. We must continue to promote and safeguard our principles of tolerance, inclusivity and equality.
“I want Gwent to be a place where people can live, work and visit without fear of experiencing hatred of any kind, including religious intolerance.
“Supporting victims of hate crime is a priority and taken very seriously. There are many organisations in Gwent that can help, I urge anyone who has been a victim to seek support.
“By working together, we can build a more cohesive community, free from fear and hatred.
“You have the total commitment of the PCC, Jeff Cuthbert and me to remember, protect and not tolerate violence or hate.
“Be the light in the darkness taking our personal responsibility to shine the light and confront discrimination and violence. Be the light in the darkness delivering justice, protection, safety, equality and peace.”
Opening Address: Chief Constable Pam Kelly Rebettzin Aidele Rose - Cardiff United Synagogue Reading from Book of Psalms Laura Price - Community Cohesion Officer, Gwent Police Prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 Rev Canon Aled Edwards - Cytun Churches in Wales Holocaust Pledge by Gwyneth Lewis, former National Poet of Wales Rafi Abbas – Baha’i Faith and a Force Chaplain Speech and Baha’i Prayer Wendy Keepin – Chair of LGBT Network, Gwent Police Speech Tom Tom Hendry – representing the Welsh Romany Gypsy Community Poem Abi Carter – Co-Chair of Remembering Srebrenica Wales Board Speech Emma Ashmead – Newport City Council Sharing a story of how a family member fled the Nazi regime Megan Barrell – Police Cadet, Gwent Police Poem - Children of Rwanda by Reverend Francois Murenzi Closing address: Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Eleri Thomas