HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- When remembering the Holocaust, one should think not only of the victims of the tragedy, but also of the survivors.
That was the message Wednesday at Hill Air Force Base as the base hosted its second Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in as many years at the Hill Chapel.
Officials hope to make the ceremony an annual event.
Hill hosted the event in conjunction with the anniversary of the official surrender of Nazi Germany, which took place May 7, 1945.
During the event, attendees were shown a special video, and several members of Utah's Jewish community, including Lt. Jason Holzman, offered special prayers of remembrance.
Holzman is one of only a few Jewish members at Hill and said the theme of this year's event was "Honoring the Selfless Heroes."
"Even through the death of 11 million, 6 million of which were Jews, it was the acts of kindness, courage and drive in the face of death that allowed others to live," he said.
Also featured at the event were Daniel and Noemi Mattis, a Salt Lake City couple who survived the Holocaust while living in Belgium.
"I remember at the age of 7, we heard airplanes bombing the city," Daniel said.
Shortly after his country was invaded, Daniel's family was lucky enough to hop on a train to France, then receive a visa to Portugal.
"We got on the train, then crossed Spain into Portugal," Daniel said. "My first memories as a child were of people starving at the train stations."
Daniel said his family received the visas from Sousa Mendes, a Portuguese diplomat who ignored the orders of his own government for the safety of war refugees fleeing from invading German military forces in the early years of World War II.
Between June 16 and June 23, 1940, Mendes issued Portuguese visas free of charge to more than 30,000 refugees seeking to escape the Nazi terror. Of the 30,000 refugees, 12,000 were Jews.
"It's possible for one person to change the course of history," Daniel said, thinking back on Mendes.
Noemi's family wasn't lucky enough to escape Belgium, but instead spent much of the war in hiding.
She said she'll never forget the day the U.S. Army arrived in the country.
"We were all in the streets, welcoming the truck and the tanks," she said. "It was miraculous. I knew could have my life back."