Today is Israel’s memorial day. Unlike in the U.S., there aren’t huge sales going on, no barbecues are happening and we aren’t celebrating.
Today is a somber day, and it is taken very earnestly. Last year’s Yom Hazikaron was tough – I went to a huge ceremony in Kikar Rabin and felt the collective mourning of a nation. But this year’s ceremonies were much more difficult. After last summer’s war, the names of the soldiers that fought, that got injured, that were killed, were still fresh and easily recognizable to me.
Hearing those names being called out in sadness and in gratitude, we all mourned in what felt like a deeper way. We mourned their sacrifice, we mourned the struggle, we cried for their families, for their friends, their comrades. We took the time off of looking towards the future, as our future is still conceivable. Last night and today, we look to the past, to the soldiers that are brave enough to defend us and that do so with pride.