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Schriever pays tribute through Days of Remembrance

Schriever pays tribute through Days of Remembrance

Days of Remembrance will take place Aug. 7 - 10. The purpose of the event is to provide the base community with an understanding of history as well as relay firsthand accounts from survivors. (Air Force graphic/2nd Lt. Scarlett Rodriguez)

Sladek stands for a photo in March, 1943 in Presov, Czechoslovakia during WWII.

Sladek stands for a photo in March, 1943 in Presov, Czechoslovakia during WWII. This was taken shortly before his parents arranged for him to be smuggled across the border into Hungary to escape deportation to Auschwitz. (Courtesy photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

The Schriever community will have the opportunity to reflect on the trials and sacrifices of genocide victims during the Days of Remembrance events Aug. 7 - 10.

The week-long event will provide the base community with an understanding of history as well as relay firsthand accounts from survivors.

Capt. Charles Taylor, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron exercise representative, and Tech. Sgt. Salvator Catanese, 3 SES Weapons and Tactics flight chief, are two of many individuals in charge of organizing the event.

“Planning for Days of Remembrance has been a positive experience,” Taylor said. “There are a lot of moving pieces, but it is a privilege to be a part of this.”

Taylor explained those moving pieces such as displays and posters to recognize the Rwandan genocide, the Maori genocide and the Holocaust will be presented Aug. 7. A chalk footprint exhibit in Building 210 atrium will encourage awareness of different genocides Aug. 8. To highlight the Rwandan genocide, biographies and the showing of “Ghosts of Rwanda,” will be featured in the Satellite DISH Dining Facility; the main event will be held Aug. 10 at 9:30 a.m. in the base fitness center.

The event’s guest speaker, Oscar Sladek, a Holocaust survivor, will speak to his experiences during that time. For the past 40 years, he has shared his story with schools and organizations to educate others.

“I lost half of my family, who perished in concentration camps,” he added. “I speak in their honor and memory. That’s my reason for sharing my story all these years.”

Catanese expressed the significance of holding Days of Remembrance and why we must never forget history.

“What we are doing is just the tip of iceberg,” he said. “There were so many atrocities that happened in the world; however, the genocides we chose to discuss are a way to reflect on how bad humanity can be and how to prevent this from happening again. Everybody deserves respect, regardless of their background and religion.”

Catanese added genocide is still happening in the world, and their overall objective is to bring this to light and show it hasn’t been eradicated.

“Not going to this event or any others like this, is an initial footprint of forgetting,” he said.  “Once it’s forgotten, it can be repeated. Every person can be the difference to overturn that.”

In addition to Sladek speaking to Schriever members, there will be several displays such as letters from the war, clothing and walking mannequins present at the event.

“People are probably never going to have a chance to hear from those who went through those tribulations,” Taylor said. “The items we will have on display are also things most people will never see. If you’re a history buff, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. I encourage everyone to take a few hours out of your day to be a part of this experience.”

 

 

 

 

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