by Sam Alderman
In a brief but emotional Statehouse ceremony, public officials stood with local religious leaders Tuesday afternoon to mark Idaho’s 33rd Annual Observance of Holocaust Remembrance.
The Idaho Capitol's newly-named Lincoln Auditorium was the scene of the Yom Hashoah, the Hebrew name for Holocaust Remembrance Day, which included song, prayer and speeches.
Members of the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale sang hymns between speakers, invoking a somber tone for the ceremony.
“The day’s principle message is that another Holocaust must never be allowed to happen again,” said Lieutenant Governor Brad Little.
Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter made an additional acknowledgement to two World War II veterans in the audience.
Other speakers included Boise State professor Carole Whitleather, who shared new information that has shed new light on Holocaust casualties.
“The new number is 15,000,000 to 20,000,000,” said Whitleather. “Fifteen to 20 million human souls who died or were imprisoned by the Nazi killing machine.”
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter led a candle-lighting to represent the groups sought out by Nazis and those who were “deemed unworthy of life.”
“By remembering the anguish of those who died, we honor their memories,” said Bieter.
The ceremony concluded with a traditional Jewish mourner’s prayer and a final hymn from the chorale.