In Israel, today was Yom HaZikaron, the literal
translation of which is "Memorial Day" and, as that implies, is a day
to remember the sacrifices of all of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen/women
who gave their lives in defense of the nation.
That it occurs immediately before Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day) has
One great tradition of Yom HaZikharon is that 11:00 AM, the
sirens all sound and everyone stops what they are doing and stands at
attention. Drivers pull their cars to
the sides of the road and get out so that they can stand at attention.
Today I was at a meeting on the sixth floor of a
building. Through the window I could see
a tree-pruning crew at work on the street below. When the sirens sounded, they brought down
the man in the cherry-picker, who joined his co-workers as they stood at
attention by their truck, some holding their chain saws in hand.
Today, wife was accompanying a group of medical students
on some hospital rounds. When the 11:00
siren sounded, the patient at whose bedside they happened to be, a veteran of
the Yom Kippur War, insisted upon getting out of his bed and standing at
attention with everyone else.
At many businesses it was "white shirt day,"
and many places had special ceremonies to commemorate Yom HaZikaron. Businesses closed at 1:00 PM, by which time I had
begun my trek back home.
In Israel it is unthinkable to stage a recreational event
such as a golf tournament
on Yom HaZikaron. The Israelis are
serious about remembering their war dead.
Israel's military casualty count now stands at 23,477. Israel's population is about 8.5 million. The United States population is more than 40
times that of Israel. Go do the
Labels: Israel, Memorial Day, Yom HaZikaron