Yad Vashem: Behind the Camera on Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day,

is international, but more intense in Jerusalem, Israel,

from a simple memorial candle display in a hotel lobby,

to the national commemoration at Yad Vashem.

Since the program is televised at 8:00 pm,

it starts on time,

Yad Vashem for ceremony Yom Hashoa

  people start arriving hours early to the plaza.

IDF honor guard at Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Day

The honor guard poses for photographs before.

Survivor torch lighter Labi and son Maurice Labi

One of the six survivors honored to light a memorial flame,

Joseph Labi and son Maurice were kind enough to pose,

more on his story next week when there is time.

IDF honor guard at Yad Vashem Yom Hashoah

This was one of my favorite photos.

sunset sky at Yad Vashem for Holocaust memorial event

The sky at sunset was a scene stealer this year.

Yad Vashem for Yom Hashoah

When the Prime Minister enters all stand, block the view,

and either try for a handshake or cellphone photo,

Ceremony at Yad Vashem for Yom Hashoah

and it is a large crowd of hundreds.

RAv Lau lighting memorial torch at Yad Vashem

Rabbi Meir Lau, a child survivor, lit the large memorial flame

after the Israeli flag was lowered to half mast.

After President Reuven Rvilin spoke,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at Yad Vashem Yom Hashoah

PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke for 15 minutes,

Netanyahu speaking at Yad Vashem for Holocaust memorial day

using his hands to emphasize a point.

lights at Yom Shoah Yad Vashem

Six flames, six survivors,

one for each million murdered by the Nazis,

in the Shoah, Holocaust, each with an incredible story.

Yad Vashem for Yom HaShoah crowd

During the videos retelling their stories,

you could hear a pin drop,

no one coughed, no one moved,

except to wipe away tears.

After the program ended,

crowd at Yad Vshem for Yom Hashoah ceremony

I held my camera high to see who was in the crowd.

But in the sea of invited guests,

with Israeli political and military leaders,

a large German government representation,

it was hard to find anyone.

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro at YadVashem for Yom Hashoah

However, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro lingered

to talk with this family.

Selfie at Yad Vashem for Yom Hashoa

Many selfies were taken that night,

but this last one of the night is a favorite.

For too many families remembering is not a once a year event,

but a lifetime spent reliving horrors.

However, from the depths and sadness,

the signs are up for

Yom Haatzmaut,

Yom Haatzmaut sign in Jerusalem street

Independence Day giant celebrations

are being planned for next week,

in Jerusalem, Israel.

But first,

Shabbat shalom.

שבת שלום

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