Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Doing It Right

Maybe it's because I am a post-war baby, or probably more because I grew up during VietNam, but I have always felt very emotional about veterans.   Just the whole thing of young men and women putting themselves in harm's way to protect the rest of us - it always makes me very proud and a little awe-struck.

So it's always bothered me that so few in the US really handle Veterans' Day with all that much thought - I mean it's a great day for sales, the US Government and some city and state governments shut down, and there are always specials on TV, but for the most part life goes on as usual.

Not so in Israel.  Here they do it right.

Tomorrow is Yom HaZikaron - Veterans' Day in Israel. It begins tonight with a siren at 8:00 pm and tomorrow everything, and everyone, pays tribute to the fallen soldiers.  Stores are shut, movies are shut, the TV channels are not allowed to show anything light, and even the radio stations play different music (such as I described for Yom HaShoah).

Tomorrow the Ulpan will be going to the Modiin Cemetery to pay tribute to the soldiers buried there and participate in a tekes (ceremony).

In the meantime, you can feel the curtain of sadness drop on the entire country as today progresses into tonight. 

I don't think there are any words that can comfort the families of the fallen, anywhere in the world, but at least here they are paid the respect that they are due, by the entire nation, for this one day.

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