Holocaust Awareness Week serves as a remembrance to the estimated 6 million Jews and countless others who lost their lives due to the human nightmare that was Nazi Germany. Why should we care about an event that for many is akin to ancient history?
Perhaps, because as the war in Iraq has shown us, history can have a strange way of repeating itself, especially if we fail to learn from our mistakes.
An obvious example to this would be President Bush and his cabinet practically ignoring the lessons learned from Vietnam. Invading a country with roots that predate our own by thousands of years and expecting the culture to assimilate to ours is ridiculous at best.
Lessons learned from the Holocaust have, unfortunately, been equally ignored. Starting in 1993, thousands of Bosnians lost their homes and loved ones at the hands of Serbians while the world stood watching.
In 1994, an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered in an ethnic cleansing campaign while we all stood idle.
And even to this day, many people in Darfur, Sudan, live in constant threat due to being born of the wrong ethnicity. During the past few years as many as 200,000 people have lost their lives at the hands of others in the region.
As long as humans inhabit this earth, the threat of genocide will be a reality. Our only hope to combat this will be the constant education and reminder of our mistakes of the past.