March of Remembrance planned for April 15



“The message of never forgetting and standing up against anti-Semitism is more important today than any time in the last 30 years,” Simon Wellner said in a conversation with Van Zandt County March of Remembrance coordinator, Gary Vawter.

Simon and his wife, Carol, who are members of Temple Beth Shalom in Austin, will be among the special guests at the 2018 VZC Remembrance in Canton April 15. Both of the Wellner’s parents were Holocaust survivors.

At 1:30 p.m., April 15, participants from the area will meet on the steps of the Van Zandt County Courthouse for the March of Remembrance which commemorates the 11 million victims of the Holocaust, and honors the survivors.

They will walk approximately three-fourths of a mile from the Courthouse to the Canton Jr. High School auditorium near the intersection of Elm and Buffalo Streets where at 2:15 p.m. an indoor program will begin.

There is no charge and the public is invited to participate in both the walk and the indoor program. The annual March of Remembrance provides area residents, and especially Christians, the opportunity to let their actions say, “Never again will we remain silent in the face of anti-Semitism.” Additionally, it is a platform for the Jewish community to tell the stories of the Holocaust’s personal impact on them and their families.

Special guests and participants in this year’s program will include: Simon and Carol Wellner; Rose Scott, Canton resident who as a young Catholic girl in Austria, survived torture by the Gestapo for helping Jews; Alexandra Goode, from Keller, who as a teenager survived Dachau concentration camp in Germany; Michael Wallace, Rabbi of Adonai Yemaleh Zoht Messianic Synagogue in Tyler; Canton Mayor Lou Ann Everett; County Judge Don Kirkpatrick; State Representative Dan Flynn; and local pastors and community leaders.

An essay contest for 7th-9th grade students on the Holocaust was conducted by the VZC March of Remembrance.

Organizers believe it is critical that young people today be exposed to the underlying causes of the Holocaust, so they can help ensure that it never happens again. The essay contest was a means for students to gain that understanding and join in saying, “Never again.” Winners of the contest will be recognized during the program April 15.

“I am really excited about the content of this year’s event,” said Vawter. “It will be unlike any we’ve had before, including a dance performance, and a portion of a play about the Holocaust.”

There also will be a special roundtable with panelists including: Simon and Carol Wellner, Alexandra Goode and Rose Scott.

As in past years, there will be a special lamp lighting service commemorating the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. It will be followed by a Davidic dance performed by a local dance troupe choreographed and directed by Lorri Rodriguez.

Additionally, a portion of a play about the Holocaust, The Last Butterfly, will be performed by students from Bullard High School. The students recently won top honors at a UIL competition performing the play.

The program will conclude with the Aaronic blessing by Rabbi Wallace.

Following the program, Rose Scott will autograph copies for those purchasing her book, “Rose” which details her incredible story of faith, strength and courage as a pre-teen girl during WWII in Vienna, Austria.

More information about March of Remembrance can be found on-line at:

Special March of Remembrance T-shirts and handcrafted walking sticks will be available to participants for a $15 donation.

For information about the event or to become a sponsor, contact Gary Vawter by email at Tax deductible donations to help offset expenses of the event can be made by check to Vawtermark Ministries, 5889 VZCR 2602, Canton 75103.