BOISE -- Sunday, January 27th is Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking more than 60 years since the concentration camp at Auschwitz closed.
But this story starts a little more recently -- just about five years ago.
Melea Bates picked up a book 'Four Perfect Pebbles' not knowing the journey she was about to take. She was about 12 years old, and was very moved by a tale of survival during the Holocaust. She decided to try and contact the author, with the hopes of getting her to speak at her middle school.
I Googled her, I found her phone number on the Internet, and I called her, said Bates.
About a month later the book's author, Marion Blumenthal Lazan, called back. It was a beginning of their friendship.
Over the past five years, the two stayed in contact and remained close.
She has called me on occasion just to see how I was doing, just to check up on me, Bates said. she's become almost like a grandmotherly figure.
Melea Bates is now a senior at Eagle High School. She is very interested in the Holocaust and human rights. Bates and the Eagle High School history club made it their mission to get Lazan to Boise for their club project.
You can't say no to a student like that, said Gail Chumbley, a history teacher at Eagle High School and the history club sponsor. I've heard it said there's nothing more powerful than an idea who's time has come. And this idea's time had come to make it real.
On Sunday night at the Boise Airport, a wish was about to come true.
I'm a little nervous, I'm really excited, maybe a few tears because this has been a dream of mine from being a 13 year old girl just wanting her to come out to being almost 18 and her coming, said Bates.
The flight, supposed to arrive at 4:30 p.m., was delayed about two hours in Salt Lake City. Finally Lazan came through the arrivals gate, with a big hug for her friend Melea.
It happened on a day the calendar marks as Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Holocaust Remembrance Day is almost everyday of my life. Somehow, someway something always reminds me of those years in the camps, said Lazan.
Lazan was in the camps from age four to age 10 and a half.
The worst was the last year and half in Bergen-Belsen, Lazan said. That's the same concentration camp where Anne Frank died.
Lazan is in Boise to share her experiences.
This is the last generation that'll hear this first-hand and have their questions answered. In a few short years we will not be here any longer to give a firsthand account.
But she hopes people take away more than just stories.
It's the lessons learned -- to be kind, and good, and respectful, and tolerant towards one another, regardless of the religious belief, color of our skin, or national origin. That's number one, said Lazan. And only if there's respect and tolerance towards one another in the countries can we expect to have peace in the world.