(TheRedWire.com) – The COVID-19 shutdowns temporarily halted annual fundraising and award events for several nonprofit groups. One of Chicago’s most significant fundraising events was no exception. The Illinois Holocaust Museum hosts its annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner but hasn’t done so since 2019. The event honors Holocaust survivors and civic, community, and business leaders.
Every year, the museum chooses a speaker based on their personal experience and observations of the modern world. On Tuesday, March 1, over 1,300 people attended the dinner to hear the featured speaker, former President George W. Bush, and honor those given Humanitarian Awards. The award recognizes businesses and people committed to educating others about hatred and prejudice. The fundraising dinner raised over $3 million for the museum.
Bush Speaks at Humanitarian Dinner
The Illinois Holocaust Museum has dedicated itself to safeguarding the history of the Holocaust. It seeks to honor the memories of those lost and teach universal lessons to combat indifference, prejudice, and hatred. The nonprofit said it hopes to promote human rights and eliminate the atrocity of genocide by turning horrifying moments of history into positive actions today.
On September 11, 2001, the United States experienced the worst single-day act of aggression in its history when terrorists killed over 3,000 people in New York City, Washington, DC, and a rural field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Former President Bush said the events of that day are still relevant today. He warned the United States can’t afford to become an isolationist country and hope to protect itself from its enemies.
Bush added it’s foolish to ignore how people in other parts of the world live, thinking it doesn’t matter in the US. The wartime commander-in-chief said the lesson of 9/11 is that other people don’t like our way of life and are willing to harm America. He said the best way to protect America is not to hope for the best.
In 2001, Bush spoke at the National Holocaust Museum in April. He said then the museum bore witness to the worst and best of the human heart. He said without experiencing the horrifying events of the Holocaust, museums like the Holocaust Museum were the only way to grasp the full enormity of the Holocaust.
Holocaust Museum Issues Humanitarian Awards
The Holocaust Museum awarded United Airlines and The Duchossois Family Foundation as the 2022 honorees of the Humanitarian Award. United Airlines won the award for inspiring future leaders and uplifting individuals impacted by disaster. The Duchossois Family Foundation received the award for its commitment to empowering individuals through wellness and education.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum is a 65,000 square foot facility that opened in 2009. It’s the second-largest Holocaust museum in the United States. The museum said it resulted from 30 years of hard work by those who survived one of history’s cruelest events.
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