By Mike Dougherty

By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Israel has begun ceremonies for Monday’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. Holocaust survivors were among the hundreds gathered Sunday at the Holocaust Memorial statue along the Ben Franklin Parkway to mark the occasion locally.

There were sunny skies above as hundreds of people reflected on some of the darkest days in human history.

90-year-old Mila Post-Kaplan escaped Poland alive. Her parents and siblings did not.

“They’re all gone,” she said. “The mother, young father.”

They are among the more than six-million people who were exterminated for being Jewish.

“Growing up, I would hear the stories my parents speaking in Yiddish, which I understand,” Mila said, “and it’s still incomprehensible.”

Mila’s daughter Rebecca Kaplan said this is an important day on the calendar.

“I encourage everyone to meet with survivors,” she said, “and learn as much as they can to have a sensitivity and a greater social responsibility in this world in order to prevent anything close like this to happen again.”

It’s the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Holocaust Memorial statue in Philadelphia, which was the first one built on public land in North America.

Holocaust Memorial Statue (credit: Mike Dougherty)

Holocaust Memorial Statue (credit: Mike Dougherty)

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