Each year, Fort Knox observes National Days of Remembrance. Officially, this year’s observance was from April 11-18 and addressed the theme “Stories of Freedom: What You Do Matters.” On April 11, Dan, Tami and Naomi Penner were invited to the base and Dan was asked to speak about the Holocaust.
About 130 people of all ages and ranks came to hear him speak about making the teaching of the Holocaust relevant to students today, learning the lessons of the Holocaust and connecting those lessons with today’s news.
Following the program, kosher style food was served, including latkes, matzah ball soup, gefilte fish and blintzes.
Penner is a teacher in the Jefferson County Public Schools and a Teacher Fellow with the U.S. Holocaust Museum. He teaches about the Holocaust at Atherton High School and Bellarmine University.
“It was an honor to be asked to speak,” Penner said, noting that he has no military experience nor connection to the base. “It was very interesting to see uniformed folks and civilians” there together. “They were very cordial and appreciative. … It was definitely a memorable experience.”
In the past, Ernie Marx, z”l, Ilse Meyer , z”l, and Ann Klein have spoken at this annual Ft. Knox event.
Morris Schwartz, a 20-year Army NCO and retiree who currently works as a training specialist with the Accessions Command’s Mission Support Battalion, made the arrangements and gave the Penners a tour of the base.
Penner’s speech was also covered in the base newspaper, The Turret.