Staff Reporter

Conducting evening prayers in a Belleville, Ont., parking lot and later singing along to a chorus of Jerusalem of Gold on a chartered bus at 10 p.m. felt like nothing out of the ordinary for a group of Holocaust survivors and Jewish war veterans.

“We have to celebrate every day, in every way we can,â€? said Nancy Kleinberg, who took a day-long journey with her husband Howard and grandson Aryeh Samuel, a 15-year-old student at Yeshivat Or Chaim, to attend last week’s Canadian Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in Ottawa.

Kleinberg, 77, who came to Canada from Poland in 1947, two years after she was liberated from Bergen-Belsen, said her family journeyed from Toronto to Ottawa on one of two full-to-capacity buses, organized by the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, because “we felt compelled. We’ve lived [all these years since the war]. We have to acknowledge it.â€?

The couple’s story is a particularly poignant one, Nancy said. “I saved [Howard’s] life. I was out looking for my family after liberation [she didn’t know yet that they had all perished] and I saw him lying on the side of the road among a pile of corpses. I could see he was alive – but just barely.