ST. JOSEPH COUNTY Holocaust victims were remembered Monday morning at the St. Joseph County Courthouse in downtown South Bend.
Dozens of people read the names of thousands of Holocaust victims throughout the day.
The mayors of Mishawaka and Elkhart, along with the deputy mayor of South Bend, were in attendance and also read names of victims.
In a candlelight ceremony, the descendants of survivors of the Holocaust lit candles in remembrance of those who lost their lives during World War II.
Many told their personal stories and expressed the impact this day has on them.
"The Holocaust is an event that changed world history and changed our whole understanding of what human beings are capable of," explained Larry Moses, senior adviser for The Wexner Foundation. "It's a story about the human condition, vigilance, and equal rights, and the dignity of all people. I think that carrying this message from the Holocaust, more widely, is a very important thing to do."
Members of the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley say that gathering in remembrance is the least they could do for the millions of victims.
In the Middle East, Israelis stopped in their tracks, standing in silence as sirens pierced the air to remember the six million Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.
The Jewish state came to a virtual stop as the two-minute siren went off on Monday morning, marking Israel's Holocaust remembrance day - one of the most solemn days on the Israeli calendar.
Buses and cars stopped on roads and highways. Many people stepped out of their vehicles and stood in solemn silence. Pedestrians stopped walking and stood still in contemplation.
Melancholic music and interviews with Holocaust survivors are filling the airwaves while TV stations show documentaries about the genocide.
Ceremonies are held around the country. Names of those killed are read out at parliament later in the day.