I mentioned in my packing tips post that I was taking part in the March of Remembrance and Hope where I would be traveling to Holocaust related sites with other students, an educator, and a survivor to bear witness to one of the darkest moments in human history. I know that this is a far from my usual topics of overpriced footwear and pretty sparkly things, but I feel I would be remiss in not sharing this amazing experience with all of you.
While finishing a degree in history, I’ve spent my academic career focusing my studies on the Holocaust and other instances of genocide. Many people have asked me why I would want to study this unsettling and frequently difficult subject and why I would want to take part in a journey where I would visit the very places where these horrific acts occurred. My answer is and will always be that education is one of the most important tools that we have for combating the hatred and fear that has so frequently led to genocide. While we might never be able to identify clear answers to the question “why”, we can at least become better aware of the warning signs and react accordingly.
Taking part in the March of Remembrance and Hope was one of the most gut-wrenching experiences of my life, but also one of the most important. The images of the camps and of thousands of shoes and suitcases that represent the stolen lives of victims will forever be seared in my mind. However, I will also forever hold the inspirational words of hope and faith in humanity that were shared by the survivor who accompanied us. My fellow participants came from all across Canada and from varied academic disciplines. As different as they all were, the group shared one common trait. Compassion. The compassion these people possess is inspiring and I’m so fortunate to have participated in this journey with them. I urge all Canadian university students to look into this amazing program. I’m beyond happy to answer any question about my experience or the program you might have. Feel free to email anytime.