This month, I was asked to do a testimonial for a person who perished in the Holocaust. I have researched this person in my work and so accepted this duty. This is a sacred task for it means being responsible for their memory and how they are presented in generations to come.
I found this solemn duty to be a really emotional experience. My work suddenly had a tangible result and I could help ensure that the person was given their due. In a way, it was a return paid to this person in the form of gratitude for all they'd given me internally while working on their story. It is the closest I will probably ever get to telling a character in my story, "Thanks! Sorry, I didn't get to know you while you were alive. I would've liked that."
After a day of effort, the testimonial was presented. It occurs to me, that as determined as their efforts may have been, the Nazis could never - nor can they now - erase the bravery and deeds of those who perished. We still have much to learn from those murdered in the Holocaust. I hope the experience is never repeated and that generations in the years to come will find those who perished to be a source of inspiration. I know I have.