In the past two or more decades, the voices of the second and third generation, children of Holocaust survivors, found their inspiration to carry on with the promise to remember.
Much has been learned that Holocaust suffering has extended past the survivors and has impacted their children whose lives have had markers of identity and responsibility different from their peers.
Sure, their lives have been different. First because they have been infused with a mixed culture of a continental and ghostly ancestral base, and a connection and a complete immersion of the homeland, which has given them roots, citizenship by birthright and a culture of belonging to a great democracy with inalienable rights guaranteed for each.
But what worries me is that some have started to blame their Holocaust heritage as a cause of all their personal ails and failures and hurts.
It is painful for survivors to have to assume this burden especially since survivors made a calculated effort to provide lives for their children that they had missed. The only blame is that they may have protected them too strongly, loved them too much and attempted to make their lives and opportunities more achievable; to enhance their lives and their future and future generations.
The most urgent work that the second/third and beyond generations can do is speak for their own parents. Carry their voices, their survival stories. Their stories are of a heroic and extraordinary people, of not falling away and wallowing in misery. When you speak of your own personal parents' stories, their voices, through you, will carry with them the echoes of the silenced voices of the six million murdered souls.
Bring this message to students. Keep your parents' stories alive as if they are speaking through you. Bring the message of acceptance and building a world where every person can live in peace, with opportunity and without fear.
Don't blame, don't feel sorry for yourselves. You have lived with heroic miraculous people who endowed you with a history, a heritage spanning millennia.