Sunderland City Council will once again join communities across the world in commemorating the Srebrenica Genocide, the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.
The theme for this year’s international commemoration ‘Remember Srebrenica’ on 11 July will be ’ Acts of Courage: Resisting Hate.’
This year’s ceremony at Sunderland Civic Centre on Wednesday morning will include a speech delivered by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Lynda Scanlan, followed by special guest Mr Smajo Beso recounting his personal experiences in Srebrenica.
A short film reflecting this year’s theme Acts of Courage: Resisting Hate will also be shown, highlighting some of the real acts of courage displayed within communities at the time of the atrocities.
The Mayor’s Chaplain, Pastor Ken Gott, will then say a prayer which will be followed by a minute silence prior to the flag being raised by the Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Lynda Scanlan.
Guests are invited to attend the ceremony no later than 9.45am for a 10am start.
Those present will include the Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear, Dr Norman Taylor, members of Sunderland’s Interfaith Forum, Councillors and council officers with members of the public welcome to attend to show their support.
Later in the day as darkness falls Sunderland’s iconic Penshaw Monument, which is cared for by the National Trust, will be lit up in green and white in honour of all those who lost their lives 22 years ago.
Cllr Scanlan said: “As Mayor of Sunderland I am proud to represent the people of our city at the raising of the Remember Srebrenica flag, and hope it will help raise public awareness of this very important international day of commemoration.
“This year’s theme of ‘Acts of Courage: Resisting Hate’ helps remind us all of the extraordinary courage displayed by families and civilians during war and in the aftermath of conflict.
“Gathering to remember the sacrifice and suffering of all those affected helps bring people of all faiths together in the name of humanity. Commemorative events here and across the world will help honour the victims of Srebrenica and raise awareness about the significance of building a cohesive society.”