April 7:  International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda

“If there is one thing sure in this world, it is certainly this:
that it will not happen to us a second time.”

--Primo Levi, 1958
Survival in Auschwitz

 "It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. 
It can happen, and it can happen everywhere.”

--Primo Levi, 1986
The Drowned and the Saved*

At 12:00 noon, we ask that you observe a moment of silence with the world community to remember the genocide in Rwanda that took
the lives of 800,000+ human beings.

“I would like to urge all people, everywhere, no matter what their station in life, whether in crowded cities or remote rural areas, to set aside whatever they might be doing at noon on that day, and pause to remember the victims.  Let us be united in a way we were not 10 years ago.  And let us, by what we do in one single minute, send a message –- a message of remorse for the past, resolve to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again -– and let’s make it resound for years to come.

“May the victims of the Rwandan genocide rest in peace.  May our waking hours be lastingly altered by their sacrifice.  And may we all reach beyond this tragedy, and work together to recognize our common humanity.  If we can accept that everyone on this earth, regardless of colour, creed, language or ethnicity is fully human -- and, as such, fully worthy of our interest, sympathy and acceptance –- we will have taken a giant step forward from dehumanization and toward a stronger sense of global kinship.”

Kofi Annan
Secretary-General of the United Nations

*Originally quoted in
"We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families"
by Philip Gourevitch.

For further information contact:
Emily Freeburg
Lutheran Office for World Community/ELCA
E-mail: emily_freeburg@elca.org
Phone: 212/808-5360


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