From siren to celebration

Tonight (Sunday) is the start of Israel’s Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. At 8 pm there will be a minute long siren, and we will remember the 23,085 members of the security forces who died on active service.

Many have the custom to visit the gravesites of deceased family members. For example (from the Times of Israel):

Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, on Saturday evening went to Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery to visit the grave of his brother Yoni, who was killed in 1976 while leading an assault force to free Israeli hostages at the Entebbe airport.

There are many memorial ceremonies across the country. Based on past experience, they are hard, painful, and tearful for many who attend.

Tomorrow (Monday) at 11 am there will be a two minute long siren.

On Monday evening, darkness marks the transition from the aching sadness and despair of that day, to the heights of happiness: Israel’s 65th Independence Day. From introspection and remembrance, to one long day of joyous celebration. We look forward, not back.

We will have remembered our fallen. We will have done our duty, and at the very least paid our respects to those who paid the ultimate price for Israel. And then we will declare, by our very presence: am yirael chai. (The people of Israel live.)