As ever it was a very moving event. It was a reminder that we should never forget the terrible events of the Holocaust and other genocides, which have caused so much human suffering and so many innocent deaths. It also reminded me of why we must always speak out against those who wish to deny that the Holocaust ever took place and those who might want to see racism and fascism triumph in our counrtr, in our time.
It also reminded me of the part the North-east played in the struggle against fascism in the 1930;s and 1940's. Mosley's Blackshirts were thoroughly rejected by the working people of the region. The Jarrow M.P. helped refugees from Nazi Germany and visited Spain during the struggle against fascism there. The notorious Lord Haw Haw, the man who tried to taunt the British people, was arrested after being spotted by a sharp-eyed Newcastle soldier, Jimmy Evans. The awful Belsen Camp was liberated by one of our won regiments, the Durham Light Infantry. This will be the subject of a presentation by A Living Tradition in the next few months - detail should be made available soon. And last but not least, there were all the other North-east soldiers, sailors and airmen, ably supported by those back here, who all played their part.
Let us be proud of our region and pour country and continue to oppose fascism and racism wherever and whenever t raises its head.