Survivors of the Holocaust, and of more recent genocides, have had to come to terms with their past, and rebuild their lives around unimaginable loss. Some have done so in the UK, starting with nothing, having missed years of education due to the ideology of perpetrator regimes. But, despite these considerable hardships, many have also faced hostility and incomprehension.
At its core, Holocaust Memorial Day brings together people from all backgrounds and from all corners of society, united in a shared aim of learning lessons from the past to create a safer, better future. From schools to museums, workplaces to places of worship and even in youth detention centres and prisons, the diversity of those taking part couldn't be more apparent.
I have had the privilege of meeting and interviewing scores of holocaust survivors during my research for various educational programmes and initiatives. Of course it goes without saying that every survivor processed and dealt with the pain, the trauma and the loss in their own way - and there is no 'right way' to respond to such a loss.
The UK has a problem with immigration. Even those who support migration have to concede that there are practical difficulties, such as a squeeze on school class sizes and GP waiting lists in areas where many new people have settled. This has boosted parties such as UKIP where a withdrawal from the EU - and therefore an end to free migration throughout Europe - is one of their major policies.
It is not a question of whether we can forgive a seemingly unforgivable atrocity; we, as the third party to events, cannot. Yet, the increased interest that forgiveness has been given over the preceding decades, as the post-witness era draws closer, is a telling sign that by exploring forgiveness there may be much to learn.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was such a day to commemorate the millions of black African victims of slavery? Unlike the "six million" figure that so often goes with statistic about the number of Jews killed during the Second World War, it's not so easy to quantify when it comes to black slaves.
If you believe Nicolas Anelka, his use of the 'quenelle' was a conscious and deliberate "up yours" to the French establishment in support of friend Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala. But, for many in this country, the 'quenelle' was almost unheard of, and many still argue that it is an apolitical rejection of the state and Zionism. However, it is a ghastly reminder of modern anti-Semitism.
Whatever you do, remember that the theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day is 'journeys'. Journeys are about getting from one place to another. If we truly want to honour the lives of all those who suffered under the Nazi regime, it is our duty to ensure that we, as a society, take note of our starting point and make sure that we move forward to a more promising final destination.