Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Holocaust survivor Leon Horn, of Polish origin, was the one selected by the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP) to initiate the project "Traces to Remember" in Brownsville, United States. The University of Texas was the scenario chosen to unveil the commemorative plaque of Mr. Leon Horn, his two children Jonathan and Richard and his grandchild Benjamin, who engraved their palm prints, which were recorded on this plaque as a legacy and testimony for present and future generations of the events that occurred under the Nazi regime.
The event, held in "The Great Hall" of this educational complex, had cooperation from the Texas Southmost College and various personalities in the academic, political and diplomatic field, as well as the Jewish Community from the cities of Brownsville, McAllen, Harlingen and South Padre Island.
The President of the University of Texas, Dr. William Fannin, offered welcoming remarks, emphasizing the commitment and responsibility of the University of Texas and all public education institutions in the United States, to raise awareness of the past, because a society that does not know its past, is destined to repeat it.
Meanwhile, Congressman of the House of Representatives of the United States, Filemon Vela, urged politicians and American citizens to get up and work on promoting Human Rights. In his speech, he quoted from a lecture by President Barack Obama, referring to the Holocaust: "The Holocaust could have reached its barbarism climax at Treblinka and Auschwitz and Belzec, but it began in the hearts of ordinary men and women. And once again, we have seen the madness that can envelop a people, envelop a nation, embed itself." (Speech by President Barack Obama, Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., April 2012)
From Texas, Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. along with his son, Eddie Lucio III, pledged to present a resolution in the month of January, at the State Capital; echoing the testimony of the Holocaust survivors. He also presented three awards on behalf of the Texas State Senate to the founder of this project, Dr. William Soto, recognizing his hard work for peace around the world.
Judge Carlos Cascos from Cameron County, highlighted the similarities between past genocides and the ones presently taking place, and commented that the only way to stop this kind of incident is by not overlooking it and pretending it is not happening.
The event also featured the intervention of Rabbi Claudio Kogan from Temple Emanuel in McAllen, who recognized the important work of the GEAP around the world in promoting the value of life and memory.
Ninety year old, Mr. Leon Horn, survivor of this international crime, shared his testimony before the audience and the media who were sensitized and moved by his story. He is grateful to God for his existence, the continuity of his life and for the privilege of standing in front of "people of good will and emissaries of peace", and for having been chosen by the GEAP to be the first link of the ineffable chain of remembrance in this country.
Dr. Bruno Harden-Cooper, presented a greeting sent by Dr. William Soto Santiago, Global Ambassador of Peace, whom by means of a video conference explained the five objectives of this international initiative: Keeping the testimony of Holocaust survivors alive, spread the universal lessons of this dark period in the history of mankind, identify the causes and circumstances that led to the Holocaust and other genocides, educate for peace and promote actions in different sectors of society; he also stressed the responsibility of the States and of the individuals to preserve their memory and educate in every field to prevent the commission of a new genocide.
Following the conferences, a photo exhibition of the Holocaust and genocides took place. Its inauguration was held in the Science, Engineering and Technology Building of the Texas Southmost College, where Dr. Lily Tercero, President of TSC, gave words of welcome and appreciation for this educational tool, and stressed the importance of this exhibition which will allow students and the community of Brownsville to learn more about these topics. Mr. Horn had the honor of opening this exhibition of the “Traces to Remember” project.
The commemorative plaque “Traces to Remember” initiates is tour through various educational and governmental institutions in the United States, whose next stop will be at the Historical Museum of the City of Brownsville.