WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
"Today, January 27, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a day when we join nations around the world in commemorating the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and in honoring the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the millions of other victims of Nazism.
"This day is of great personal importance. While my mother escaped the Holocaust with her parents, most of her family did not. Her experience with such tragedy shaped my upbringing and my understanding of the fragility of life, the human capacity for cruelty and for beneficence, the resilience of the human spirit, and the meaning of refuge.
"The theme for this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day is “home and belonging.” The victims of the Holocaust had their homes and their sense of belonging taken from them. Those who survived found refuge – a new home, a new place to belong – from which they could build a new life, hold dear and everlasting the memory of those lost, and create a better world for others.
"This day is of great importance to our nation. We are experiencing an increase in acts of hate across our country, some of which have caused great tragedy. When an act of hate is committed against one, it affects us all. That is the definition of a community of people, which is what and who we are. On this day of remembrance, let us think of the meaning of home and belonging, draw upon our proudest traditions, and build a greater refuge of tolerance and understanding.
"Our Department of Homeland Security is proud to keep our great country safe and secure, and to help build a world in which acts of hate no longer occur."