Speak up!

On a recent trip to Poland I learned about ‘The March of the Living’ which remembers victims of the Holocaust. I was deeply affected when faced with the horrors of the Jewish experience in Poland and I am hugely inspired by the universal goals of March of the Living that encourage us all to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

  1. Tell the story – deny victory to the perpetrators
  2. Pay tribute – acknowledge the courage of those who rebuild their lives and bear  witness, giving a voice to the victims
  3. Recognise and learn from the altruistic actions of those who teach us never to be a bystander in the face of oppression
  4. Honour those who resisted, whether physically or spiritually
  5. Never allow discrimination by any individual or group against another to gain strength, since all human beings deserve equal dignity and respect
  6. Inspire each other to build a world free of oppression and intolerance, a world of freedom, democracy and justice for all members of the human family – each of us has the ability to make a real and lasting difference in the world
  7. Enter into history – take part in order to proclaim that the victims have been remembered and will never be forgotten.

I have realised that the goals of the March of the Living can be the foundation of principles we live by today. There are still people who suffer maltreatment at the hands of those who seek profit or hope to gain or retain power.

“Never again should not be used as a catchphrase, nor should it only apply to Jews. We must work together to say never again to any form of hatred against any group of people in this world.” Ben Fine, Founder of STAND (Students taking action now, Darfur), March of the Living 2001.

When we see maltreatment we can speak up. We must speak up.

Thanks to the March of the Living for inspiring me to recognise suffering and to speak up for those that need a voice.

©SD Wheelock

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