Remembrance and Reflection
Pomfret observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
During a QUEST session on January 27, the Pomfret community joined people around the world in remembering the events of the Holocaust on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It was a solemn and significant day dedicated to remembering the millions of Jews and other minority groups who were killed, honoring the survivors, and pledging to prevent hatred and discrimination from taking root in society.
Grounded in Pomfret’s core values of community, integrity, and growth, QUEST enables students to learn as a class more about who they are, who they are becoming, and how we can be and belong together in this community.
The freshman class created a pop-up memorial to honor some of the brave victims and survivors of the Holocaust, under the Character pillar. The display, which can be viewed in the du Pont Library, also celebrates those in our own lives who have shaped and made us.
“We created this memorial with the shared understanding that every person is a loved one of someone else,” said Katie Forrestal, a Character pillar co-leader. “It is this spirit that connects us all: we all want to be loved, deserve to be loved, and are capable of giving love.”
The juniors and sophomores planted seeds. For the sophomores studying the Being pillar, the seeds represented compassion. The seeds represented kindness, love, and generosity for the juniors in the Community pillar. Leaders in the Belonging pillar recreated the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Each classroom of the Centennial Academic & Arts Center was a different exhibit that members of the senior class could explore. They heard stories from some of the victims and survivors.
The day concluded with a school-wide lecture from Dr. James Waller, the Christopher J. Dodd Chair in Human Rights Practice at the University of Connecticut. He spoke about why Holocaust remembrance matters in our deeply divided world. He shared that while it is important to remember the events, history, and victims of the Holocaust, our actions cannot stop there. “We have to learn not just the history lessons of the Holocaust, but we have to learn the lessons from that history,” said Waller. “One of those lessons is that deeply divided societies don't heal on their own. If we're not active in trying to heal some of the divisions that even are tearing apart our society today, it leaves us at risk.”