A Father Urges Courage as He Remembers His Son
As people throughout the world pause today to remember the victims of the Holocaust, a father remembers his son and urges courage and vigilance in the face of evil.
Statement by Tuly Wultz
Yom HaShoah Holocaust Memorial Day
Miami Beach, Florida
May 1, 2011
Daniel Wultz died in Israel on Sunday, May 14, 2006 as a result of a Palestinian terrorist attack. It was Mother’s Day. Daniel was 16 years old. His family had traveled to Israel for the Passover holiday. In his memory, his parents, Sheryl and Tuly Wultz of Weston, Florida established the Daniel Cantor Wultz Foundation to promote tolerance and acceptance through education and sports initiatives. Tuly Wultz, co-founder of the Daniel Cantor Wultz Foundation, released this statement for Holocaust Memorial Day.
Sixty years ago, Israel’s parliament proclaimed that each year on the 27th day of the month of Nissan on the Hebrew calendar, the Jewish People throughout the world should pause to remember the devastation and heroism of our darkest moments.
Today is that day.
This is that moment.
Today, in 2011, the cries of one and half million Jewish children who perished in the flames of the Nazi death camps are increasingly distant, yet more than ever, we are joined by people of all faiths and cultures who recognize, as others have said, that for evil to succeed, all that is required is for good men to stand by and do nothing.
On this day, we also remember the heroism of both Jews and non-Jews who courageously fought for and protected the remnants of our nation. The few who tried to shelter and defend our children from evil, who risked, and often sacrificed their lives in the face of humanity’s darkest chapter.
The heroism of a relative few allowed us to survive through indescribable loss, pain and anguish that pierces the soul of humanity while remaining faithful to our G-d and the eternal covenant to be a light unto the nations.
On Friday, as I do each week with the approach of another Sabbath eve, I kneeled before the grave of our son, Daniel.
Daniel would be 21, completing college, pursuing his dreams, waking each day to breathe passion into the purpose of his life.
Instead Daniel’s dreams, passion and light died with him, just like the million and half Jewish children who were murdered in the Holocaust.
The innocent children of the Holocaust were killed by murderers, just as Daniel was killed by a murderer, just as murderers continue to sow darkness and destruction today upon the most vulnerable among us.
Then and now, they seek to confuse, discourage, and distract.
Then and now, they count on us to believe and embrace as our view, stories woven from the fabric of their evil intentions.
Then and now, they plot a future in which we will collectively awaken to their deadly ambitions only after the clarity of their actions reveals for all the true nature of their intentions.
Then and now, their wicked deeds depend on the silence of good people.
As it was then, as it was for our son, Daniel, the price for our ignorance can easily be our own families, our own children, generations of dreams and potential forever stolen.
On this day, we close our eyes briefly to remember the fallen. But the true message of Yom Hashoah, of this Day of Remembrance, is to open our eyes.
To see the challenges before us that require courage, that call on each of us to do what we can to stand up against evil, to put aside our narrow differences and short-term concerns in order to protect freedom and life itself.
All that is required for evil to succeed is for good men to stand by and do nothing.
In the shadows of the Holocaust, that cannot be an option for any of us.
On this day, may we open our hearts to hear the whispered voices of each of those who call out from the heavens urging us to find our own courage, purpose, and the true meaning of each of our lives.