FPC students remember the Holocaust

On Thursday morning, around 100 Frank Phillips College students gathered in the FPC college library to take part in the Holocaust Day of Remembrance Ceremony.The ceremony began with the releasing of balloons and the lighting of 60 candles, with each candle representing 100,000 lives which were lost during the Holocaust.Borger resident Meryl Barnett served as the special speaker for Thursday's ceremony, with the longtime Borger resident sharing about his experience helping to liberate the Dachau labor camp while serving in the Army during World War II.Barnett opened his talk by saying in his 511 days of combat in World War II, it was on the 509th day he fully understood why he was fighting, which is when his group was the first allied unit to reach the Dachau camp.Barnett shared with the students some of the horrific conditions and images he experienced while at Dachau. The sharing of the experiences led to the Army veteran to say regardless what people in other parts of the world like to say, he knows first hand the Holocaust was real and as Americans we need to make sure nothing like it happens again.Barnett also reminded the students of the importance and the meaning behind the American Flag and the national anthem.Thursday's ceremony concluded with Susan Summer, stepdaughter of Holocaust survivor Tibor Stern who died in 2009, sharing how her stepfather experienced the Holocaust from the inside and how allied soldiers like Barnett were true heroes to their family. Thursday's ceremony was the college's observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, which began Wednesday evening April 18, and ended on Thursday evening, April 19. The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.