AEPi Walks to Remember
In Israel, Yom Ha’Shoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day — is commemorated with a siren at 10:00 AM and two minutes of silence. On college campuses around the world, Alpha Epsilon Pi brothers honor the victims of the Holocaust in a different way. While the silence is common to both observances, undergraduates brothers focus on ensuring that people on their campus and the surrounding community never forget.
In collaboration with B’nai B’rith International, they embark on a silent march for the “We Walk to Remember” (WW2R) program. The only sounds emanating from the procession are their footsteps hitting the pavement and the wind flapping against the information cards distributed to those who ask why they walk.
This past school year, more than 120 schools participated in the event. Even though the underlying principles are the same from school to school, they all have the freedom to make the event their own.
The Nu Kappa chapter at Carleton University/the University of Ottawa walked throughout the city and hosted a ceremony at city hall where the mayor spoke and it a Yahrzeit candle after a Holocaust survivor spoke to the crowd.
The Phi Delta chapter at the University of Pittsburgh held its first ever walk and proceeded to follow-it up with a 24-hour reading of names of those who were killed. During the reading, brothers stopped to speak about their own experiences with anti-Semitism, including a brother whose grandparents are buried in the Chesed Shel Emeth Ceremony near St. Louis, which was vandalized in late February 2017.
AEPi brothers have a special obligation to ensure that the memories of those who perished are never forgotten. They carry that torch with their heads held high in pride.