Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut

Yom HaZikaron has so much more meaning in Israel than Memorial Day seems to have here. I'm sure it has more meaning for people who know military servicemen and women who were killed, but it's also very different. It's a day to mourn the people who were killed, not just for sales and being off of work. Memorial Day here means a long weekend and going away with family and bbqs and for some people, a time to remember and mourn people who were killed...Memorial Day in Israel means a day to remember people who were killed. There is a siren when traffic stops and people get out of their cars IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY to stand out of respect. It's a day where there are ceremonies all over the country in the 24 military cemeteries (24! Military alone! In a country the size of New Jersey!), not to mention those that are buried not in military cemeteries.

Everyone knows someone or has some connection to someone...even me. The farthest connection I can think of is 1 degree away...somebody whose best friend/friend/sibling/uncle/aunt/parent/grandparent/combination of the above/other was killed. I can't think of any farther connections.

Maybe that's why it's so meaningful. It's very, very real. And when it comes into your life, it becomes much more real. On the other hand, I have the same connection to people who were killed here...1 degree away. But it doesn't feel the same. Maybe because it's so many more people? Or just the attitude. Memorial Day is a day to remember and memorialize-- not "sales and bbq day" (which happens to be the day

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