Memorial Service Held at Holocaust Museum

On Sunday, the Holocaust Museum Houston held a memorial service for Officer Stephen Johns, who was killed last week at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. At the same time, community leaders reminded Houstonians about the importance of confronting hatred and prejudice everywhere. Melissa Galvez reports.

"We are here today to remember Officer Stephen Johns, who gave his life in defense of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum…"

With these words, Michael Goldberg, Chairman of the Holocaust Museum Houston, opened the hour long service for Officer Johns.  This is why Louise Logan came:

"These events have to be remembered, and you can't let a madman like that 88 year old keep us from coming here to bear witness to what happened."

Fred Zeidman, Chairman of the US Holocaust Memorial Council, did know Officer Johns.  He says that Johns was a devoted single dad, who loved to chat about baseball. He was, Zeidman says, "a big teddy bear":

"All he did was, in an act of goodness, open the door, and within the next minute, he was down.  That smile that you see on that face out there, I can tell you, tells you everything about Stephen Johns…he was my buddy."

Rev. William Lawson and Rabbi David Rosen both encouraged everyone to teach children love, not hate. But it was Holocaust survivor Ruth Steinfeld who challenged the audience to find goodness in the world:

"I leave you with a challenge to go away committed to finding that goodness in yourself, and those around you, more than ever before."

Melissa Galvez, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News