|The Walls of the Old City All Light Up|
I was rushing to try and get to the kotel (Western Wall) where the official government ceremony kicking off memorial day was happening. Along the way I had a string of run ins with friends, which only served to remind me how small this country can be at times. I unfortunately got to the kotel too late and missed the tekes (ceremony) for the most part.
|Graves on Mt. Hertzel|
After the siren the memorial ceremony commences and in addition to several prayers traditionally said for the dead as well as Kadish the Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, spoke. He opened up by saying the day is one that touches everyone in the country and he is right. There is scarcely an Israeli who does not have a relative, friend, or acquaintance who has not been killed or hurt in the line of duty or by a terror attack. Bibi himself lost a brother in Operation Entebe who is buried on Mt. Hertzel as well. When the ceremony came to an end the family asked me to go back to the house with them and I happily agreed. His family really is a special group of people. They have had to deal with such loss and pain yet they did not waver a bit in their love of either Israel or in their faith in god. His younger brothers did not shy away from combat and they too went on to serve in combat units and even to attend officers school. The whole story is really moving, and it was one of the greater honors in my life to be able to stand at his gave side on Yom Hazikraon (Remembrance Day).