During Holocaust remembrance week, liberators gather in Washington

Concentration camp liberators gather at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington in honor of Holocaust Remembrance week:

Concentration camp liberators gather in Washington

From the Washington Post online

The 120 veterans wore red, white and blue tags emblazoned with the word “Liberator” and crept along on walkers. Others could hardly hear as they toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday. But the memories of the atrocities they witnessed in the waning months of World War II — when soldiers from several armored and infantry divisions liberated concentration camps throughout Germany and Austria — remained achingly clear.

Some attending what museum officials said is one of the largest gatherings of liberators ever held remembered cremation ovens were still warm, ashes fuzzing the foul air. Stacks of bodies on railroad cars. How their hearts ached when commanding officers forbade them from passing along rations to the starving people, for fear the rich food would sicken them further.

Vets’ Stories Preserve Memory Of Holocaust Victims

From NPR.org

One white-haired man after another — some bent with age, others still standing straight — gathered under American military flags and posed for photos. A veteran in a wheelchair pointed to the screaming eagle — the emblem of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne — and then one of its most recent commanders, Gen. David Petraeus, appeared.

Now the head of Central Command, Petraeus was at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to honor American veterans of World War II, members of what he called “the greatest generation.”

“Not only liberating a continent, but saving a people — a people who the Nazis had tried to exterminate, millions of whom perished before you were able to get to them — and then you helped preserve the memory,” he said at a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the end of the war and commemorating the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

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