More than 150 people attend 'heartfelt' Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.
Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service was held on January 23 in Coronation Gardens, Romford. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

A Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in Romford was attended by more than 150 people.  

On Sunday (January 23) at 2pm, a commemorative service was held in Coronation Gardens to mark national Holocaust Memorial Day, which falls on January 27 this year.

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Havering’s Holocaust memorial service was attended by Romford MP Andrew Rosindell and hosted by Reverend Lee Sunderland (end right).

The theme of this year's ceremony was One Day, which references the hope that one day in the future there will be no genocide.

A welcome and introduction was given by deputy mayor of Havering, Cllr Christine Vickery.  

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.
Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Deputy mayor of Havering Cllr Christine Vickery gave a welcome speech and read out a statement of commitment. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

This was followed by an address and reading by the Rabbi of Romford and District Synagogue Reverend Lee Sunderland, who helped to organise the service and catering for reception.  

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.
Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Rabbi of Romford and District Synagogue Reverend Lee Sunderland. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Poems were read by Havering Council leader Cllr Damian White and a two-minute silence with candles honoured those who were killed.  

Revd Sunderland gave a closing prayer and Cllr Vickery read out a statement of commitment which recognised the horror of the holocaust.  

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.
Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Wreaths were laid at the ceremony in Coronation Gardens, Romford. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

She said: “We recognise that the Holocaust shook the foundations of modern civilisation.  

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“Its unprecedented character and horror will always hold universal meaning.” 

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.
Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

She noted the importance of future generations understanding the causes of the Holocaust, reflecting upon its consequences and always remembering its victims.

“We value the sacrifices of those who have risked their lives to protect or rescue victims as a touchstone of the human capacity for good in the face of evil.” 

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.
Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service was held on January 23 in Coronation Gardens, Romford. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Cllr Vickery said the service, which she attended with her husband and consort Tom Vickery, was a "touching and heartfelt commemorative service".  

She said: “This annual event is incredibly important - it allows us to pause and reflect on millions of victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.  

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.
Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Laid wreaths in Coronation Gardens. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Prior to the ceremony taking place, Cllr John Mylod, who is currently recovering from Covid-19, said it offers the chance to think about those “who lost their lives and those who survived the terrible events of the Holocaust”.   

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.
Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Havering’s Holocaust memorial service. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

He added: “This also includes antisemitism and all other forms of racism, intolerance, bigotry and hatred is of grave concern, which we ignore at our peril.” 

Havering’s Holocaust Memorial Service at Coronation Gardens in Romford.
Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Havering’s Holocaust memorial ceremony was attended by more than 150 people. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins