Photo Feature: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Photos of flags on display in grass.
The International Holocaust Remembrance display took place on February 3, 2021.

Over 27,000 flags paint the West Lawn to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Student Life, along with 50 volunteers from various student clubs and organizations and staff members from the Alumni Relations Office came together in two separate waves to set up the display. Each flag represents 500 people who fell victim to the Holocaust and each color represents a different group: Jewish adults, Soviet prisoners of war, Polish Catholics, Jewish children, Serbians, Roma and Sinti, people with mental and physical disabilities, Spanish Republicans, gay/lesbian individuals and Jehovah’s witnesses.

“This memorial reaffirms an unwavering commitment to counter anti-semitism, racism, bigotry, prejudice and other forms of intolerance that may lead to group-targeted violence. We pledge to remember the victims who lost their lives in the most heinous ways through honoring their stories and working together to end hateful forces that lead to these violent acts,” said the Department of Student Life in a campus-wide email.

This is the third year the Department of Student Life office has organized the display. In previous years it was held on January 27, the date on which International Holocaust Remembrance Day lands and the date that marks the Soviet Red Army’s liberation of the largest Nazi concentration death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in 1945. However, due to inclement weather, the display was moved to February 3 this year.

People putting in flags
The Alumni Relations team donates their time and labor to help set up the display. Photo by Kayla Gronseth-Boyer.
Person wearing mask putting flag in the ground
A member of the Alumni Relations team is happy to volunteer their time to set up the display. Photo by Kayla Gronseth-Boyer.
People set up flags on lawn
Volunteers begin setting up the flag display in the afternoon. Photo by Kayla Gronseth-Boyer.
Photos of flags with El Pomar in the backgrounf
Over 27,000 flags are on display in front of El Pomar.
Flag display with people walking in the background
Members of the community walk by the display.
Flags of multi-color
Each flag represents 500 people and each color represents a different group.
Photo of El Pomar with flag display in front
The West Lawn is painted with over 27,000 flags, each representing 500 people who lost their lives during the Holocaust.
A student walks staring at flags
As a student heads toward the library, he stops to notice the flag display.
Several multi-color flags
A sea of different colored flags flood the West Lawn.
Photo of building with mountains in the background.
A view of the West Lawn from the library.