News: ‘Dagger’ brigade hosts 2014 Days of Remembrance ceremony
Story by Staff Sgt. John Johnson
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Days of Remembrance ceremony 2014 featured descendents of the Holocaust who shared their families’ stories April 9 at Fort Riley.
This year’s event, hosted by 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, featured the theme, as designated by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Confronting the Holocaust: American Responses.”
During the observance, two 1st Inf. Div. Jewish American Soldiers and two Kansas residents shared their families’ experiences during the Holocaust era.
The family of Lt. Col. Matthew Weinshel, commander, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, Inf. Div., did not experience the Holocaust but he shared their feelings towards it during that time.
“Although my family did not directly experience the Holocaust, they heard some of the terrible atrocities occurring in Europe,” Weinshel said. “Like many others, they did not believe what they heard.” Weinshel went to the Auschwitz former German Nazi concentration camp in present day Poland 20 years ago as a cadet.
“When one walks through the gates, it makes a person think about the fear these families, men, women, children and the elderly, felt upon arrival in the late 1930s and 1940s,” Weinshel said.
Special guests at the April 9 observance also included Allen Lebovitz, a graduate of the University of Kansas and who has a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri, and son Michael Lebovitz, senior at the University of Kansas, who shared their family’s experiences.
Allen Lebovitz is the son of Holocaust survivors Eugene and Kate Lebovitz, who migrated to the United States in June 1946.
The ceremony also included Jewish cultural food such as corned beef catered by Riley’s Conference Center.
The 2014 Days of Remembrance ceremony marked the beginning of an observance that lasts from April 27 through May 4 nationwide to remember the families who were lost during the Holocaust.