In learning lessons from the past, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School students helped teacher Deanna Capogreco Smillie fulfill a promise she made to survivors of the Holocaust.

“I’ve personally met 33 survivors,” Smillie said. “I promised each and every one of them I would teach their message about standing up for those in need.”

To help teach that message, about 100 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students boarded a bus to visit CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute, Ind. last week.

The students spent more than two hours with Holocaust survivor and museum founder Eva Kor, who shared her painful past and how she was able to move on from it.

“I want them to understand that you must respect all individuals, regardless of what religion, what socio-economic status, what heredity, wherever you are in life,” Smillie said. “I want our students to know we should treat everyone with respect and dignity. We need to stand up, not be a bystander, not be a perpetrator. We must be upstanders in life.”

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