Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Memorial Day

This past Monday was the Israeli memorial day. The Golani brigade, which I ma a member of, sends two soldiers to each grave of a fallen soldier, no matter how he fell. On Sunday night we had a base wide ceremony to memorialize all the soldiers who have fallen in both the Golani brigade and the IDF as a whole. After placing the flag at half staff the order of the day was published and then several soldiers from Golani were selected out to be memorialized and mixed with poetry, and songs about loss. After the ceremony soldiers being dispatched to graves were informed and I was unfortunately not one of them. So we went to bed.

0420 wake up and 10 minutes to dress and clean up. After we began to clean and pack up our rooms, and it was there my friend approached me. He asked me to take his spot at one of the graves so he could attend a ceremony at his High School he had been asked to attended. His grave site was located in Netanya, and I agreed. When I came back to my squad and mentioned what happened one of my squad members asked to switch with me as he lived near Netanyah, so I was no heading to Herzaliyah. Now as we formed up top leave and were told the bus divisions, they also asked for 2 volunteers for graves on Har Hertzel in Jerusalem. My friend in my tzevet volunteered and I switched, yet again, with him as he lived closer to Herzaliyah than Jerusalem. So while at 0430 I was not assigned any grave at 0600 I had switched 3 times.

At 0630 we headed out by bus to Har Hertzel, the Israeli military cemetery located in central Jerusalem. at 0830 we arrived and me and the soldier going with me found the assigned grave. We then went found a bakery eat our fisrst food of the day and at 0900 we headed back. At 0930 we were back at the grave, sleeves down and beret on the head. There we met the family who had arrived by then as well and introduced ourselves as well. We remained at the grave side with the family till the ceremony began at 1050. At 1050 the ceremony began and at 1100 the siren went off all across Israel. When the siren goes of in Israel, it goes off across all of Israel and everything stops. Traffic, pedestrians, stores, and life as a whole, and everyone stands in a minute of silent.

It is real moving to stand with a mourning family on memorial day in our nation. In Israel there is practicaly no one who does not know some one who has fallen in defense of the nation. I being a new citizen do not personally know someone, so it felt really good do do my part in honoring those who have fallen.

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of you. I am glad you don't know one of the fallen soldiers as of yet, but I fear it won't be long before you do. At that time, I will again be proud of you because I know you will be supportive to that family in whatever way you can. I am honored to have been your teacher and spent a part of your life as an influence. I only hope I was a good influence as I know you are and will be to others.
    love ya bunches!
    Verbum Sap!