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Remarks By Dalton McGuinty, Premier Of Ontario At The Holocaust Survivors Ceremony

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Remarks By Dalton McGuinty, Premier Of Ontario At The Holocaust Survivors Ceremony

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Office of the Premier

I am honoured to be here with all of you today to help recognize Yom ha-Shoah.

Before I begin I'd like to take a moment to thank those who were instrumental in establishing this annual ceremony -- including my colleague Minister Kwinter.

Yom ha-Shoah has become one of the most significant days on the calendar -- here at Queen's Park and in communities throughout Ontario.

This day is one of remembrance.

We remember the millions of Jews who died in the Holocaust.

We honour the memory of families torn apart, never to be made whole again.

Yom ha-Shoah is a day of reflection.

We reflect upon one of the darkest periods in human history.

We mourn for the innocent victims of an unspeakable evil.

And it's a day to recognize that many Holocaust survivors still live among us in Ontario, bearing their pain, but also bearing a message -- never again.

We have many survivors with us today.

And it is my great honour to present scrolls to 11 of you on behalf of the Province of Ontario.

In Europe, you lived through terror and fear ... you witnessed people at their most inhumane ... you experienced horrible acts of violence ... yet, somehow, you survived to seek a better life in Ontario.

But it is we who are the better for your presence here.

You built businesses.

Started families.

Strengthened communities.

For all that you have endured, for all that you have done, and for all that you continue to do, on behalf of all Ontarians I thank you.

Your lives ... your stories ... your courage are an inspiration to us all.

You remind us that Yom ha-Shoah is not only about remembrance, reflection and recognition.

It's also a day to renew our resolve to defeat racism.

We must not tolerate hatred and intolerance.

We must always stand up for each and every Ontarian.

Recently, we've had ugly reminders that we must remain vigilant.

We have stood up to hatred, and we must continue to stand.

Indeed, we must not only stand against racism ... but stand with one another.

Tolerance, respect and understanding are values that have always defined our province.

They are values that will help us build an even higher quality of life in the future.

Let us continue working together.

Let's work together to educate our youth about the evils of racism and the value of every culture.

Let's continue working together to ensure every Ontarian has the opportunity to reach their full potential, achieve their dreams and help build strong, safe communities.

This is the greatest tribute we can make to those who perished in the Holocaust ... those who were robbed of such opportunity ... those whose vast potential was never realized . . . those whose dreams were destroyed by hatred.

We will remember ... we will act ... and we will build a better future in their memory.

Thank you.

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