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Rice Speaks at Days of Remembrance

Aired April 9, 2002 - 12:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now we are going to take you live to Capitol Hill. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is this year's keynote speaker at the salute to those who tried to save lives from World War II's Holocaust, Days of Remembrance.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We gather today to remember that evil is real, and present in our world. We gather to remember that hatred and bigotry are always and everywhere wrong. We gather to remember that the commission of monstrous sin requires not our consent, but only our indifference, our neutrality, or our silence.

We gather to light six candles, so that we may never forget six million acts of murder. With each passing year, the number of living Holocaust survivors and liberators grows smaller. When all the eyewitnesses are gone, the Holocaust's history will be taught not from the searing pain of memory, but from the pressing hall of conscience.

Last year, when the president spoke here, the Holocaust seemed somewhat removed from our era, part of a bloody century now behind us. Sadly, this year, we need no prompting to appreciate the Holocaust's importance and its relevance. Fanatical, unreasoning hatred has intruded upon our lives in ways that no one could have imagined months ago.

From the Holy Land, we see daily images of carnage, and from Europe, come images of synagogues and Torah scrolls burned. Our own land has seen the mass destruction of innocence, guilty of nothing more than going to work in a country called America on a beautiful but terrible autumn morning. And the world was sent obscene videotapes where evil leaders celebrate the slaughter, and yet another tape where a man is killed after being made to say the words, "I am a Jew."

This year, evil has spoken to all of us, and on this day, we need no reminder to answer back, quietly but firmly, never again.

(APPLAUSE)

RICE: As our world prevails through these difficult days, and as we pray for the peace for all of the children of Abraham, it is important to recall not just the Holocaust's horrors, but also its heroes. Bearers of witness like Jan Karski, rescuers like Wallenberg and Schindler, writers like Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel, and resisters like the Danes and the righteous of many nations who hid and saved many thousands of their Jewish neighbors.

And of course, we recall those who fought from inside the Warsaw ghetto in April 1943, and who, as Elie Wiesel has said, lit a flame that continues to burn in our memory, even through the distance of six decades. We draw strength from these names, all familiar to our lips and we gain inspiration from their stories.

Less often, we think of the others, the countless ordinary Jews, Roma, Jehovah's Witnesses, gay people, disabled men and women, who defied the machinery of murder with quiet acts of courage and piety, their names are mostly unknown to all but him, yet their lives, too, instruct.

PHILLIPS: National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, keynote speaker of this year's Days of Remembrance ceremony, remembering the victims of the Holocaust, and saluting those who tried to save lives from Nazi tyranny, standing up firm against hatred and bigotry there.

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