Wednesday, May 11, 2005

We Remember

Over the last eight months I have invited you into my world.

I began to blog as a hobby. Something that would allow me to unwind, share my thoughts, maybe, even meet a few people who would grow to know me as a person. Until now, I’ve shared a lot of my professional, as well as, my personal life with you. There is one area of my life I’ve never shared on this blog and it goes to the heart of who I am as a person, how I view my world, and where I call home.

I was born in Israel and moved here when I was ten years old. As opposed to my brothers, who at the time were much younger than I, the transition to life in the United States was difficult for me and I’ve always longed to return to my place of birth. I still do. Often, I will visit there and be reminded of my former life and how much I miss it. With my fellow Israelis I feel every tragedy that occurs there deep in my soul. I am disgusted, hurt, and horrified. The Israel I know is a wonderful place, with amazing vibrant people who love life, want peace and nothing more than safety for their children.

On the fifth of Iyar, 1948 (according to the solar calender) Israel won its independence. It is a day of happiness, festivals and pride. Israelis are extremely nationalistic. Each must serve three years (two for females) in the army as soon as they turn eighteen. The political situation in the area is such that they are constantly glued to news reports and political events and decisions..

This Thursday marks the fifty seventh independence day of a country once thought to be doomed to annihilation. however, so ingrained is our dedication to those who protect us that each year, one day before Israel celebrates it's freedom, we hold a day of remembrance for the heroes who have given their life to protect our freedom and this land.

This is a very sad day. Ceremonies commemorating those who have fallen are full of tears and relatives of those now gone tell the stories of heroes. The television is full of sad stories and the mood in the country is quite somber. During the middle of the day a siren breaks out all over the country and everyone stops for a minute of silence (Even people driving their cars on the highway pull over). Everything stops!

Eleven wars and conflicts in fifty seven years and there seems no hopeful end in sight. In each, Israel has only acted in its own self defense.

Today, I stand with my fellow Israelis to commemorate the soldiers who gave their life, the thousands wounded and the others who continue to struggle and die to combat terrorism.

Tomorrow is our independence day.