George Santayana once declared, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." This quote provides some basic insight into why we should make an effort to remember history. Repeatedly throughout history, there have been periods of unwarranted discrimination, severe catastrophes and immoral acts of prejudice - remembering these periods helps us ascertain a more powerful understanding about our history which allows us to apply the lessons learnt to both the present and the future. If we are ignorant of the historical (and contemporary) experiences of a cultures, then we simply cannot attempt to understand why people, communities or nations behave the way they do or make the decisions they make. Importantly, not forgetting history also enables us to honour and carry on the legacies of those who lost their lives unnecessarily through brutal wars, genocide, or assassinations. Because we take time to remember the past, when a person dies, we do not let their personal stories, histories, traditions, morals, or values die with them. .
As Neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman once said, There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time. Remembering the Holocaust (as well as any other death in history) is an effort to make sure that this third death never occurs. It is an effort to make sure that these families legacies carry on, along with preserving their cherished values and traditions. It should be noted though, that some people may wish to forget things from the past for example, no one would want to remember horrific personal experiences such as rape or bullying as some things simply do not teach you any lessons and only carry negative connotations with it. .
How should we remember history in the wider context of history (the whole spectrum, not just wars and deaths)? There are many effective ways to remember events that have passed including: memorials, remembrance days, museums, moments of silences, visits to the scene and renovation.