WASHINGTON (Feb. 19)
President Carter’s Commission on the Holo ### has extended the “Days of Remembrance” for victims of Nazism from two days this year in late April to the full week of April 22-29. The week’s period includes Yom Hashoah, the internationally recognized Holocaust Memorial Day that is to be marked this year on April 24.
Congress and the President originally set the United States days of remembrance for April 28 and 29 and these will also be incorporated in the week’s observance, the Commission decided last Thursday at its first meeting since it was named last November. It met in the old Executive Office Building after its members were sworn in at the White House by House Speaker Thomas O’ Neill (D. Mass.).
The 34-member Commission and its advisory group of 27 members will meet here again April 24 in a national ceremony of commemoration whose program will be planned by a Congressional group and the ceremony itself organized by the federal government, the Commission’s office said. The co-chairmen of the Commission’s subcommittee for the commemoration are Sen. John Danforth (R. Mo.) and Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum of New York national antireligious affairs director of the American Jewish Committee.
CALL TO COMMEMORATE REMEMBRANCE DAYS
All churches and synagogues and “all American of good conscience”, will be asked to commemorate the Remembrance Days in their services and prayers. The week’s events will be marked at their opening April 22 with services at Temple Emanu-EI in New York and in their closing April 29 in the National Cathedral of the Episcopal Church in Washington.
The Commission is to call on the nation’s Governors and Mayors to issue proclamations in observance of the Remembrance Days. It will also co-sponsor regional commemorations with local communities. The media and schools will be urged to recognize the days and their implications for Americans, the Commission said.
The terms of a permanent American memorial for the Holocaust victims were not decided by the Commission as yet but, according to an official, the initial discussions seemed to be more in the direction of a museum with an educational program than a monument of bronze or stone.
At the swearing in ceremony, O’Neill pointed out that the Holocaust represented a fundamental assault on the rule of law and Congress is pledged to uphold that rule. Edward Sanders, representing the White House, told of President Carter’s personal commitment to the Commission’s work. Author Elie Wiesel; the Commission’s chairman pointed to the plight of the Vietnamese “boat people” in discussing the contemporary implications of the Holocaust.