CPLC Vigil Remembrance

By Staff Sergeant Phillip Van Andel,
Toronto Police Service
Published: 10:19 a.m. April 28, 2014

11 Division CPLC pays homage with a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Yom Hashoah.

Two men in TPS uniform lighting tea lights
Officers light candles at the vigil
  • Two men in TPS uniform lighting tea lights
  • People seated in a room with men in TPS uniform at front of room, one at a podium
  • Rows of tea lights along a window ledge

At a recent monthly meeting, members of 11 Division CPLC (Community Police Liaison Committee) and officers from 11 Division gathered to commemorate Yom Hashoah, a day of remembrance for victims of the Holocaust.

Israel’s Knesset (its parliament) established Yom Hashoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, as a memorial to the six million Jewish people who were killed by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. It is observed on the 27th day of the month of Nisan. The full name of the day is Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah, which means the "Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism."

“The Holocaust is an enormously tragic milestone in world history,” said Superintendent Heinz Kuck, 11 Division Unit Commander.  “Yom Hashoah provides a touchstone to that historical era, and not only as one to be reflected upon through the depth of its despair, but rather through the triumph of the human spirit, the survival of a people and culture, the sustaining of a religion, and of those who would flourish and live and keep those who perished alive through remembrance.”

The CPLC gathered together in a darkened meeting room and spoke about the Holocaust, about friends and family past and present. Each member was then asked to light 6 candles, symbolic of the 6 million dead, and stop in silence for reflection, and for some prayer. When the over 200 candles were finally lit, excerpts were then read from the award winning book Hana’s Suitcase, which describes the true Holocaust experience of the Brady family, covering three continents over a period of almost seventy years.

“The candlelight vigil was very emotional” said CPLC member Sybil Wilkinson. “It was so wonderfully sensitive and had us feel a variety of emotions.”

11 CPLC has also co-produced a number of other ventures with 11 Community Response Unit including: hat and mitten winter clothing drive,  Street-proofing workshops, Black History Month readings, celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the annual student bursary fundraiser.

When describing the efforts of the CPLC and its Divisional partners, Inspector Ed Roseto, 11 Division second in command stated: “It’s amazing to see the community and police work together so cooperatively, so consistently, and for a common purpose. They get it, and have it, the spirit of partnership.”

TPS crest watermark