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US president says Yad Vashem memorial shows 'the depravity to which man can sink' but also offers hope
As the voices of a children's choir rose to the roof of the stark and sombrely lit Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust, Barack Obama's eyes closed for a moment.
The girls, dressed in monochrome, performed A Walk to Caesarea by Hannah Senesh, in which the poet prays that the sand, sea and rustle of water may never end. But the end came all too soon for Senesh, who was executed behind enemy lines in 1944 while trying to rescue Hungarian Jews, and for six million Jews who died in the Nazi death camps and whose lives and deaths are commemorated at Yad Vashem.
The US president's hour at the Jerusalem memorial, set in a forest on the western edge of the city, was a powerful consolidation of the principal message of his three-day visit: that America stands with the Jewish state as an unyielding friend and staunch ally.
It was his second visit, he said after the ceremony. "Nothing equals the wrenching power of this sacred place," he said. "If you come here a thousand times, each time our hearts will break. For here we see the depravity to which man can sink, the barbarity that unfolds when we begin to see our fellow human beings as somehow less than us, less worthy of dignity and life; we see how evil can, for a moment in time, triumph when good people do nothing."
Minutes earlier, in the dim Hall of Remembrance, Obama – wearing a white yarmulke – stepped forward to rekindle the Eternal Flame and laid a wreath on a stone crypt containing the ashes of Holocaust victims, crouching close to the stone for a moment's contemplation. Then, flanked by the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and president, Shimon Peres, the president stood with clasped hands and bowed head as Cantor Asher Hainowitz concluded the 10-minute ceremony with El Maleh Rachamim, a prayer for the souls of martyrs.
Obama also visited the unforgettable Children's Memorial, where the names and ages of 1.5 million Jewish youngsters are intoned in darkness relieved only by pinpricks of light; the Hall of Names, where the details of 4.2 million Holocaust victims are recorded; and the Museum of Holocaust Art.
In his remarks after the ceremony, Obama said Yad Vashem was also a testament to man's capacity for good as well as evil, citing "the rescuers, the righteous among nations, who refused to be bystanders".
The memorial, he said, was "in the end a source of hope. For we are never powerless. In our lives we always have choices – to succumb to our worst instincts or to summon the better angels of our nature; to be indifferent to suffering wherever it may be, whoever it may be visited upon, or to display empathy that is at the core of our humanity. We have the choice to acquiesce to evil or make real our solemn vow of never again."
Shortly before visiting Yad Vashem, Obama laid wreaths at the graves of Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, and the assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at the nearby Mount Herzl cemetery.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013
Alloka

Alloka (37)

Alloka
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The article I wrote about has just disappeared, but I would like to present for your consideration the fruits of my work.
The Government of Singapore tries to encourage Singaporeans to get married and start having babies earlier by distributing around universities leaflets with illustrated morality fairytales and flirt tips, and by releasing series of educational cartoons. They hope, it will help to persuade twentysomething women, who try to extend their adolescence, not to be too wild and reckless and not to lose their chance to start a family.
A lot of Singaporeans consider this government attempts as an old-fashioned, one-dimensional and extraordinarily insulting way of trying to increase fertility in the country.
I don't think it's a good idea of the government to meddle in their denizens' private lives, but until people cannot live without countries, rules, laws, borders, identity cards, credit cards etc, they cannot avoid this meddling.

The article I wrote about it has just disappeared, but I would like to present for your consideration the fruits of my work.The Government of Singapore tries to encourage Singaporeans to get married and to start having babies earlier by distributing around universities leaflets with illustrated morality fairytales and flirt tips and by releasing series of educational cartoons. They hope, it will help to persuade twenty something women, who try to extend their adolescence, not to be too wild and reckless and not to lose their chance to start a family.A lot of Singaporeans consider this government attempts as an old-fashioned, one-dimensional and extraordinarily insulting way of trying to increase fertility in the country.I don't think it's a good idea for the government to meddle in their denizens' private lives, but until people cannot live without countries, rules, laws, borders, identity cards, credit cards etc, they cannot avoid this meddling.

Very good exercise!

Alloka

Alloka (37)

Alloka
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Thank you very much, Jean!))

eddymichel

eddymichel

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I don't think it's a good idea for the government to meddle in their denizens' private lives, but until people can live without countries, rules, laws, borders, identity cards, credit cards etc, they cannot avoid this meddling.

(You can use " be able to" so you wouldn't have to repeat the word "can")

Your english is superb!

Do u want 2 know what I think about the article?

Alloka

Alloka (37)

Alloka
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Thank you for your help, Eddy Michel!
I do. Tell me!

eddymichel

eddymichel

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Singapore gov are in panic because they're faced with a rapidly ageing society and women are under
a lot of pressure getting educated, working, procreating, and trying to maintain a certain status.


I think too much freedom is never good for anybody. You just can't have it all.

I also think that the gov of Singapore should be doing what Scandinavian countries are doing – making it easier for women to have babies and allowing men to take part.

Alloka

Alloka (37)

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Thank you Eddy! I see you found this article and read it.
Why do they try to maintain this status? Why is it out of fashion now to have a family?
Because of the men. All what women do is because of the men.
I think so.

jonmaz

jonmaz

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Who are these denizens to whom you refer?   Why did you use that unusual appellation?

Alloka

Alloka (37)

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Good morning John!
I found this word in that article and used it. I've never seen it before. Don't you use it in your part of the world?

jonmaz

jonmaz

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I have never used it but, as you know,  I am not well educated.    I don't think the word belongs here but I have not seen the article.

Алан71

Алан71 (42)

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The word was supposed to be citizens but was misspelled.....