Monday, May 05, 2014

Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut

Since 1860 when records began to be kept, Israel has lost 23,169 casualties to war and terrorism.  These people fell defending the State or were victims of the attacks of Arab terrorists on civilians.  On Sunday evening begins Yom Hazikaron, the day of remembrance of the fallen in Israel's fight for independence and survival.   At 8 pm a siren will sound and then again at 11 am on Monday when ceremonies will be held at all memorials and cemeteries dotted around the country.  Family members, soldiers and citizens will stand in silence to remember their fallen relatives and comrades.  This will be the prelude to the celebration of Yom Ha'atzmaut, the Day of Independence on Mon night and Tues.
I know it doesn't seem fitting to compare, but defending a nation in the armed forces and taking civilian casualties as we have been doing all the time is much less lethal for the Jewish people than being left undefended, given the many ruthless enemies we have.  For example, 23,000 as a percentage of 6 million is only 0.4%, and while the 23,000 died over a period of 154 years,  the 6 million were killed in just 6 years during WWII (1939-45).  This is worth remembering when we send our young men into harm's way.
In the past year, 57 newly fallen were added to the list, not including the latest, a beautiful young woman named Sheli Daddon who was abducted in the north and stabbed to death by a group of Arab men in a nationalistic attack.  It continues all the time, but at least as a country we are surviving and thriving. 
Yom Ha'atzmaut, commemorating 66 years of the Jewish State, starts immediately after Yom Hazikaron and is celebrated with fireworks and parties... enjoy!


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