My son did a project on the Holocaust for school. It was one of 25 projects put on display at a local synagogue (temple? not sure the difference) for their community event for Yom Hashoah. As a result we went to the service, and I am very glad we did. The service had some prayers which I am not familiar with. It also had a speaker discuss the holocaust, pointing out (among other things) that it was not the ignorant who perpetrated and planned the atrocities, it was the well educated. Engineers, Doctors, Lawyers, etc.
After that they had survivors and descendants light candles.
The there was some...i am not sure if it was a prayer but something like that... where the rabbi said something in Hebrew and then someone in would say the name of a concentration camp. I wish i had a translation to know what they were saying.
Finally there was a musical performance. There were 3 pieces from Jewish composers who died during the holocaust. 2 of the 3 pieces were written in concentration camps. Then there were 3 pieces that were written post holocaust.
All in all it was very moving and I am so glad we went. The actual building and sanctuary were beautiful as well. There was one thing that struck me though. Not in the sanctuary, but in the entryway and the hall there were 2 police officers. They were in their uniforms, i did not notice if they had guns but I assume they did. Their vehicle was parked out front. They were not obtrusive or anything, but they were there. It struck me as a new experience that these people need a police presence to watch for disturbances at a Holocaust Memorial service. It says something about the current state of things that the chance that anti semetic Nazi #######s might actually intrude on an event like this. Honestly it made me very sad.
I'd encourage people to see if there is an event like this in your community next year and consider attending. I am very glad that through my son's school project we found out about it and attended.