People everywhere should remember what happened during the Holocaust so they may rededicate themselves to preventing such atrocities from happening ever again.

That was a recurring theme during a national "Days of Remembrance" memorial program Friday at the state Capitol rotunda, where survivors and liberators of those involved in the Nazi Holocaust gathered to honor the memory of those who died or who suffered in other ways."This very day of remembrance and this commemoration ceremony we share is a beginning point" for asking hard questions about the period. "But if we see the Holocaust as an historic experience alone, as something that (just) happened way back, then we will turn our exercises into a sham," said the Rabbi Frederick L. Wenger of Congregation Kol Ami in conducting the ceremony.

"We mark this period of remembrance in order to help make ourselves more sensitive to the ideals which should make Americans better," the rabbi said.

Sponsored by the Jewish congregation and the United Jewish Federation, the ceremony was marked by the lighting of a memorial candle, chanting by Cantor Laurence Loeb of a lullaby written during the Holocaust, and the reading of poetry by Jacqueline Osherow. Cantor Loeb also chanted a memorial prayer, known as Eil Male Rahamim, which was translated by Rabbi Wenger.

Declarations issued by Gov. Mike Leavitt and Mayor Deedee Corradini were read. Leavitt's wife, Jackie, spoke briefly and read the state declaration. Stuart Reid, a Salt Lake official, gave brief remarks and read a declaration from the mayor, and Salt Lake County Commissioner Randy Horiuchi also spoke.

A concluding speaker, Alan E. Steinweis, a history professor at the University of Nebraska, said the Holocaust should be meaningful or made meaningful to Americans by "looking at the factors that produced the Holocaust." It may also be meaningful, he said, by "trying to identify whether those specific kinds of factors or forces are at play in American society today - even if in very different kinds of forms."