Yom Hazikaron in Israel

By: Mati Dileva, Mazkirut Olamit of Hanoar Hatzioni

Yom Hazikaron is known as the Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and
Victims of Terrorism. I dare say that this, without a doubt, is one of the saddest
memorial days in Israel. No matter the social, religious or political status of each
citizen, on this day the Israeli society binds in a warm hug and a prolonged cry,
making us feel as if we were the brothers, parents and families of each one of the
fallen, even without having met them personally.

Sirens that, for one minute, paralyze the world, the streets, the roads, every
passerby regardless of his destination. This minute of “eternal” silence allows us to
remember those who fell in defense of our state, our homeland. No matter where
it finds us, it grants us the possibility to pay tribute, remember and commit to act
to ensure that these lives were not lost in vain.

During my military service in the IDF, I proudly participated in memorial
ceremonies of Yom Hazikaron. I got to attend ceremonies for people that I did not
know, whose names I had never heard before. Even so, surprisingly, during the
few minutes of my presence in the ceremony, I felt them as if they were my
family, my friends, my brothers. Looking to the sides, I realized that I was not the
only one; this was the collective sensation. All the tears united into one cry
because we were all a part of one big family.

Yom Hazikaron is the day when I feel the most Israeli. This day reminds me that
despite all the differences and the difficulties, we are one people, and that, in
times of adversity, difficulties and pain, we have the ability to put all of that aside
to be strong and united for one another. I feel that this day, despite its emotional
burden, is necessary for us at times; then, at the end of the day, we can realize
who we truly are and what we are worth.


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