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I Remember

April 21, 2020

Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.*

In honor of all those who perished, were murdered in the Holocaust, and what lessons we can learn from remembering, I send this to you.

My parents are Holocaust survivors, or now, were Holocaust survivors.  In their honor and memory, I remember.  In memory of the six million Jews who were murdered, I remember.  For this I say “Never Again”.  We remember to honor those who were murdered and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, anywhere, and to anyone.

“What does it mean to remember? It is to live in more than one world, to prevent the past from fading, and to call upon the future to illuminate it.”  Elie Wiesel

This year we have another reason to remember.  While we remember the many, too many, who were murdered, shot, gassed, and many, too many who perished from Typhus, malnutrition, just gave up, suicide….    Today we also remember and think of those like my parents, who weren’t murdered… who survived, as our existence is challenged by Covid-19.

While it is not an apt comparison, as no comparison is fair or equal, they can serve as lessons, reminders, and add some perspective.

To most of us, it is unimaginable how the survivors survived enduring the unendurable and unimaginable.

They were able to do this because consciously or un, they believed that their lives had a purpose and meaning.  They had faith, hope and looked to the future with that. They believed they had something or someone to live for.  If they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t have survived in the first place.

This is a powerful lesson and reminder for us all.  These survivors remind us of what people are capable of enduring, how, and why.

It is a powerful lesson for all of us today in “shelter in place”, uncertain of how long, fearful of the disease, mourn the loss of life, fearful of our personal economic future, etc.

Just like the survivors did, let’s replace fearful thoughts by looking to the future with faith, hope, and purpose.  With that, we can and will get through this to a brighter tomorrow.

“The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity—even under the most difficult circumstances—to add a deeper meaning to his life.” – Dr. Viktor Frankl from “Man’s Search For Meaning

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

*Today is also the Yarzheit, anniversary of my Mother’s passing.  I write this in her honor and memory.  Quite a coincidence that her passing was on the same day as Yom Hashoah?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Riva permalink
    April 23, 2020 12:08 am

    Fred,
    Thank you for writing this to share your outlook and feelings.
    During this Covid crisis, I’ve often thought about the reality which our parents lived for ten full years and were among the fortunate few to survive. I can’t help but feel it was they and only them who could give us the depth of perspective we as their children carry so deeply inside us.
    I miss my parents and all their wonderful friends who were also my “family”, more than I can ever express. Yet, I know their voices live on with vigor in everything I do, feel, say and it is with that through which they will carry on – they, their experiences are never forgotten and surely will always be deeply honored.
    Riva

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      April 23, 2020 7:01 am

      So beautifully said you brought tears to my eyes

      • Riva permalink
        April 23, 2020 1:55 pm

        Fred,
        Thank you for your kind words. Today is my brother’s 65th birthday. My father, Henry Baigelman, was liberated in Germany by American Troops from the German Death March on April 23, 1945. Henry, also known as Chaim, considered that day his second birthday and the gift to him of “LIFE”.
        He was given a son ten years to the day after he started living again. I’ve often said, and I think you will concur, we were the lucky children of survivors. Our parents and their friends started new lives with deep appreciation for every single day. “Man’s Search for Meaning”, was evident to us as they celebrated each day, each child born, each Bar Mitzvah, Wedding, Graduation, New Job, each and every moment of LIFE with “L’CHAIM! To LIFE”

      • Fred Fox permalink*
        April 23, 2020 3:17 pm

        Yes I Agree we were lucky and also proud to be their children

  2. Alison permalink
    April 22, 2020 8:01 am

    Dear Fred,

    Beautifully said, thank you for the inspiration and the reminder.

    Alison

  3. Lynda permalink
    April 21, 2020 6:46 pm

    Thank you for inspiring us Fred on this day of remembrance. How special that this day marks the anniversary of your mother’s passing. They were shining examples of how we can overcome adversity and thrive.

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      April 21, 2020 6:52 pm

      Thank you Lynda
      I am touched by your mention of my Mother

  4. Seth permalink
    April 21, 2020 10:46 am

    Thanks Fred!! Wise words to ponder during these times. Beautiful tribute to your mother!

  5. kirk permalink
    April 21, 2020 10:27 am

    Fred, yes never forget. But I must say the angry attitude so many in America have for different viewpoints is scary as to me. It parallels with Germany of the past.
    Fred, thanks again for your thoughtful challenges to all of us to think a bit deeper…

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      April 21, 2020 2:26 pm

      Thanks Kirk
      interesting observation

  6. Matt permalink
    April 21, 2020 9:32 am

    Thanks, Freddie.

  7. Beni permalink
    April 21, 2020 9:07 am

    ישר כוח

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      April 21, 2020 9:42 am

      What Beni said in Hebrew is basically “good job”
      Thanks Beni

  8. April 21, 2020 8:38 am

    Thank you for these inspirational words. Most important “Never Forget”
    Thank you

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