Friday, April 28, 2006

Yom HaZikaron

Israel's Memorial Day, is a day to remember those who lost their lives fighting for the State of Israel. In recent years, Yom HaZikaron has been expanded to include civilians killed by terror attacks as well. Throughout the world, but especially in Israel, the day is carefully spent in reflection of the human cost of the wars fought for the State of Israel, and in a careful evaluation of the achievements of the modern-day State of Israel over the past year.
Israel is a small country in which almost everyone serves in the army. And if everyone is a soldier, most Israelis have either a relative or friend who was killed fighting for Israel. In such a small country, smaller than the State of New Jersey, people feel the pain of each soldier killed acutely. When 73 young soldiers were killed in the helicopter crash of February 1997, the whole country mourned. Each 18 or 19 year-old face on the cover of the newspaper calls to mind a son, a friend, a son's friend.
How do we remember? In Israel, and in the Diaspora, there are several ways. Learn about one family's sacrifice, and reflect on what the soldiers of Israel have given to all of us.
As night falls, the mood in Israel changes.