Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A two minute siren is sounded in Israel and everything comes to a stop.

On this day we remember not only the 6 million Jews, but the millions of non-Jews killed by the Nazis, the “righteous gentiles” who risked their lives and the lives of their families to hide and shelter Jews, and the soldiers who liberated the camps.

Like Vernon Tott and others, about whom we wrote in 2009:

When I think of the exceptional nature of this country, I also think of the rows upon rows of white crosses in cemetaries above the beaches of Normandy, of thousands of mostly Christian soldiers floating on the shores of islands in the Pacific, and the mostly Christian American soldiers who liberated numerous concentration camps.

I think of Christian Americans like Vernon Tott of Iowa who not only liberated concentration camps, but took the time thereafter to bear witness to what he saw (and decades later to reunite with one of the prisoners he liberated):

“I was a radio operator in the Infantry and on April 10, 1945, we were going to attack Hanover, Germany. Early that morning I was sitting in my radio jeep with Capt. Reed, at a crossroad, west of Hannover. After the sun came up we could see down a dirt road that someone was waving to us. Capt. Reed thought these people might be American POW’s so he told me to drive down to them. A couple truckloads of riflemen came with us. When we got there we could see that it was a Jewish slave labor camp (Ahlem). What we saw inside of the camp was Hell on Earth.”My memory of what we saw when we first entered the camp was the pile of dead bodies. The men alive were in ragged clothing and they were just skin and bones. They came towards us with smiles on their faces. They knew their horrible nightmare was finally coming to an end.

And of the black Christian American soldiers who, though facing discrimination at home, helped liberate the camps:

And the soldiers in these images:

With anti-Semitism never having rested, and growing particularly in Europe, it’s necessary to remember.