Amber Valley's 'avenue of trees' to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

The Holocaust will be remembered in Amber Valley with the planting of a series of trees.

Amber Valley Borough Council plans to eventually create a double avenue of trees, on the main footpaths at Alfreton Welfare Park, to honour the six million Jewish men, women and children who lost their lives in the atrocities under the Nazis between 1941 and 1945.

Councillor David Taylor, Mayor of Amber Valley, planted the first three trees - that are Himalayan birches, which have bright white bark and a graceful shape - at the ‘fork’ of the paths, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Friday, January 27.

From now on, there will be a tree planted every year to commemorate the anniversary, with future mayors given the special honour of planting forthcoming trees.

Mayor Taylor said: “It’s a huge honour and a privilege to be the first Amber Valley Mayor to plant these inaugural trees. Long may they help us to reflect on the terrible things which happened, and to remain thankful for a safer, better future.”

Chris Beal, landscape maintenance manager for Amber Valley Borough Council, is heading up the planting project.

He said: “The Mayor did the initial planting, and the idea is that every year from now on, whoever is the Mayor will take on the commemorative role of planting a further tree.

“It will be a long-lasting monument to all those who lost their lives under persecution - the avenue will be there forever more. It should take us 10 to 14 years to complete the avenue.”

Amber Valley Borough Council has encouraged others to pay their respects on National Holocaust Memorial Day.

As well as remembering the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, the event also commemorates the persecution of other groups and genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

It is an occasion for everyone to come together to learn, remember and reflect.

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is Ordinary People.

People were also encouraged to take part in a national moment of reflection, by lighting candles and placing them safely in windows at 4pm on January 27. 

Amber Valley Borough Council’s Ripley headquarters was also lighting candles during this powerful national moment of commemoration and solidarity.

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