All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Monday, 1 May 2006

Yom Hazikaron - The Day Of Remembrance

General MacArthur’s famously said “old soldiers never die, they just fade away”. This is assuming that soldiers get old.

In Israel tonight and tomorrow, the nation commemorates the men and women, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters who were killed, simply for trying to protect their own fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters from enemies whose sole intention was and is, to stop Jewish people from living in freedom in their own land.

Since records began, back in 1860, nearly a hundred years before the Declaration of Independence, 22,123 human beings have lost their lives in defence of the Jewish homeland. In only the last twelve months, 138 soldiers have been murdered for the very same reason.

We light a candle, say a prayer and remember in silence the loss of life, of potential, or ‘what could have been’ – had those young people been allowed to live their lives.

Forget the politics, the bias, the recriminations. These people were not out to kill or maim, destroy or humiliate. They only asked for one thing – to live as Jews in their ancient homeland. They didn’t go around blowing themselves up, trying to kill women and children. That is not our way. That is not who we are.

They reluctantly took up arms to ensure that the people they were protecting had a chance to live “normal” lives. It is for this reason, that I too bow my head, wipe away a tear and think of the soldiers whose ages remain frozen in time.

This is a painful day for anyone who cares about Israel. Tomorrow, we will celebrate our 58th birthday, but first, let us remember why tomorrow came about and at what cost we are able to celebrate this very special anniversary.

May the next year bring about no more tragedies.
Enough blood.

No comments: