On Monday 30 January 2017 the borough of Rochdale came together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day with a special ceremony at Rochdale Town Hall.
More than 100 people including; local residents, partnership members, council representatives, faith and community groups attended this year's Holocaust Memorial Commemoration to remember victims and survivors of the holocaust, nazi persecutions and other worldwide genocides.
"We're committed to commemorating the Holocaust"
The event began with the rededication of the Holocaust Memorial Stone in the Rochdale Memorial Gardens, to commemorate the extermination of six million Jews and other minority groups by the Nazis.
Attendees then listened to speeches and readings from Holocaust survivor Henry West MBE, Reverend Mark Coleman and Imam Irfan Chishti MBE, the Youth Parliament, Rochdale Borough's Multi-Faith Partnership and the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale to name a few.
6 candles of remembrance were also lit to remember other genocides from around the world over the last 100 years, followed by a minute's silence.
"We cannot change the past but we can affect our future."
Councillor Raymond Dutton, Mayor of the Rochdale borough, said "Every year we commit to commemorating the holocaust so we can learn its lessons and continue to fight against prejudice and hatred. We must remember and teach future generations that we cannot change the past but we can affect our future."
The service ended with a monologue performance, reimagining the life of Anne Frank, by Lizzie Wilson from M6 Theatre Company and live music from the Rochdale Music Service.
"This year's event was really special"
This year's event was organised by the borough's Multi-Faith Partnership in conjunction with Rochdale Borough Council and The Arts Council. It focused on the question 'How can life go on?' asking people to think about what happens after genocide and of our own responsibilities in the wake of such a crime.
Robin Parker, chair of the Rochdale Multi-Faith Partnership, said: "This year we're particularly proud to work with both the Youth Service and M6 Youth Theatre who really made this event special."
Next year's Commemoration will be held in Heywood.