Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day that has been set aside for remembering the victims of the Holocaust and for reminding Americans of what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred, and indifference reign. The United States Holocaust Memorial Council, created by act of Congress in 1980, was mandated to lead the nation in civic commemorations and to encourage appropriate Remembrance observances throughout the country. Observances and Remembrance activities can occur during the week of Remembrance that runs from the Sunday before through the Sunday after the actual date.
While there are obvious religious aspects to such a day, it is not a religious observance as such. The internationally recognized date comes from the Hebrew calendar and corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on that calendar. That is the date on which Israel commemorates the victims of the Holocaust. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called “Yom Hashoah.”