HomeNewsArticle Display

Millions of Holocaust victims remembered at Misawa

Lighting the candle

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Angelica Smith, a 35th Force Support Squadron unit deployment manager and security manager, lights a candle after reading “The Last Letter” written by Esther Starobin at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 1, 2019. Starobin’s parents wrote the letter sent from the camps in France during the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Museum displays the letter to show what life was like for victims of the Nazi regime. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman China M. Shock)

A prayer

Lindsey Clements, spouse of a Naval Air Facility Misawa aircraft intermediate maintenance department petty officer, leads the attendees in prayer during the Holocaust Days of Remembrance Ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 1, 2019. The Mourner’s Kaddish is a Jewish prayer, said in the mourning period following a loved one’s passing and again each year, on the anniversary of their death. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman China M. Shock)

Eight stories, eight candles

A ring of candles sits on a table during the Holocaust Days of Remembrance Ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 1, 2019. Eight Airmen and family members presented stories from the Holocaust, and a candle was lit for each story. According to Airman 1st Class William Mowery, a 35th Force Support Squadron fitness center manager, it is important to remember the lives lost so that this atrocity will never happen again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman China M. Shock)

One flame for one million lives

A candle representing a million lives lost burns in a room during the Holocaust Days of Remembrance Ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 1, 2019. The purpose of the event serves as a date for official commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime but promotes Holocaust education throughout the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman China M. Shock)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

More than 50 Team Misawa Airmen commemorated the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust during Misawa Air Base’s 2019 Days of Remembrance Ceremony, May 1.

Eight speakers shared stories during the candle-lighting ceremony about individuals affected by the Holocaust with candles burning to honor countless friends and families impacted by one of the darkest periods in human history.

“It’s important we do not forget this part of history,” said Airman 1st Class William N. Mowery, a 35th Force Support Squadron fitness center manager.

Every Airman a crucial component of the mission regardless of their race, religion or ethnic group as a part of its core values.

“It’s important for Airmen to understand why we serve and to understand the legacy we have to live up to in the armed forces,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey B. MacHott, the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron customer service and unit control center manager. “Knowing how people suffered in the past helps personnel understand why it is important for everyone to do their best when it comes to helping people in similar situations around the world today.”

Mowery said reflecting on the Holocaust inspires nations, like the U.S., to never let history repeat itself by opposing those similar powers in the world.

MacHott, said service members have an opportunity to be a force for change and that events like this aid in resiliency by gathering fellow military members at Misawa AB. This non-work function helped build their social resiliency, one of the four components of the Comprehensive Airman Fitness.

“Our force resiliency depends on caring for Airmen as well as their families, creating an environment where all can achieve their full potential,” said Airman 1st Class Jack Saggart, a 35th Communications Squadron network operations technician.

The six million Jews and millions of others deemed undesirable by the Nazi regime who lost their lives during the Holocaust will never be forgotten as long as Airmen like MacHott, Mowery and Saggart bring others together in their memory.