We must learn from the horrors of the past and never forget what produced and enabled them. We must say “never again” and show in our actions and unwavering defense of human freedom that we mean it.

A stirring reminder from the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum:

Holocaust survivor Paul Kester (Kleinstrass) to future generations: “Be tolerant. Don’t hate. Protect the freedoms that you enjoy. I wish you well.”

I don’t know how clearly more recent generations are getting this message, but I remember well a junior high school field trip to the L.A. Holocaust Museum, the heart-wrenching privilege of getting to meet Holocaust survivors and hear their stories, and ample periodic coverage of the Holocaust from there through high school. It was one thing that L.A. public schools did a decent job of during my time there, and these experiences impressed upon me the vital importance of exercising courage in the face of evil, while leaving me with a sorrowful yearning that we, the U.S. and the rest of the world, had not managed to do more to stop this horrific brutality sooner.

Never, ever again.