On May 7, 2014, President Obama traveled to Los Angeles, California to speak at the USC Shoah Foundation 20th anniversary dinner. After making Schindler’s List, Shoah Foundation Founder Steven Spielberg was inspired to create the Foundation in order to preserve the memories of tens of thousands of survivors of the Holocaust and other mass atrocities through video eyewitness testimony. He introduced the President and presented him with the Foundation’s Ambassador for Humanity Award.
In his remarks, which can be seen here, the President honored the many survivors of the Holocaust and other mass atrocities who were in attendance:
Every day that you have lived, every child and grandchild that your families have brought into this world has served as the ultimate rebuke to evil, and the ultimate expression of love and hope.
He also noted the administration’s commitment to supporting Holocaust survivors in need living in the United States, including the appointment of a Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services and the $5MM Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund proposed in the FY15 HHS Budget.
The President called upon all of us to stand up to anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry and hatred wherever they exist, declaring that "silence is evil’s greatest co-conspirator." And he recognized that memory imposes a "sacred duty":
The voices of those recorded and unrecorded, those who survived and those who perished, call upon us -- implore us and challenge us -- to turn ‘Never Forget’ into ‘Never Again.'
Matt Nosanchuk is Director of Outreach, National Security Council