The Vermont Holocaust Memorial has launched a student essay contest: “Rescuers in the time of COVID-19.”

The statewide contest, launched to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day April 21, is intended to honor the heroism and sacrifice of Vermont’s medical and service workers during the pandemic.

Vermont students from elementary through high school will be asked to reflect on neighbors and relatives on the front lines against this historic threat and how their values reflect those rescuers of the World War II Holocaust.

The memorial is the state’s sole voice for advocating education to transmit the tragic lessons of the Holocaust to combat anti-Semitism and intolerance.

“This hero can be a doctor, nurse, religious leader, volunteer organization, nurse, grocery clerk or a neighbor, friend, parent, delivery person — anyone or any group,” said Debora Steinerman, president and cofounder of the memorial. “Our message: ‘Ordinary people can do, and are doing, extraordinary things, often at great risk.’ This is the only way people survived during the Holocaust, and the way Vermonters, and all Americans, will survive this current crisis.”

More information and contest guidelines: holocaustmemorial-vt.org/2020essaycontest.

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