Prime Minister of Canada, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, visits Yad Vashem
“They are remembered always, in our hearts, in our prayers, and, most importantly, in our resolve.
— Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, 2014–01–21
These are the words that the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, wrote in the guest book at Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.
On Tuesday, January 21, 2014, Prime Minister Harper and his wife, Laureen, visited Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem, where they toured the Museum, the Hall of Remembrance and the Children’s Memorial. Ceremonies commemorating the 6M Jewish men, women, and children who were murdered were conducted in the Hall of Names and the Hall of Remembrance. In the latter, the prime minister lit the eternal flame and laid a wreath.
Please click here to see a video of the highlights of the prime minister’s visit to Yad Vashem:
The prime minister was joined by Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, and his wife, Sara; Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate; Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council; and Joe Gottdenker, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem. Joe, a Holocaust Survivor, was rescued by Righteous Among the Nations Wladyslaw and Petronela Ziolo.
The complete delegation, comprised of some 250 people, included representatives and lay people of various charities and organizations and prominent business people.
The Prime Minister’s address to the Knesset was the first delivered by a Canadian Prime Minister in that forum. He lauded Israel for its rebirth after the devastation of the Holocaust. “Laureen and I share that pride, the pride and the understanding that what has been achieved here [Israel] has occurred in the shadow of the horrors of the Holocaust,” said the prime minister.