Last night at sundown, Israel began celebration of a 2 day holiday.
The first of which, ending tonight at sundown is called Yom Hazikiron, followed the next day by Yom Ha’atzmaut.
The first day is the equivalent of our memorial day. It is a remembrance of the over 22,000 soldiers, (and victims of terror) who have fallen in defense of Israel.
That my not seem like a lot, but considering that Israel’s population has just hit 7 million, you can see what a large percentage it is.
Two points here.
At the beginning of the holiday, a siren is sounded.
Virtually the entire country comes to a stop for a full minute.
This also occurs on another holiday Yom HaShoah the holocaust memorial day.
It is absolutely incredible to see an entire country come to a halt. If you are on the highway, you will see traffic cease, people stop walking to stand and remember.
It is truly breathtaking and certainly gives one not just literal pause to consider, but emotional and psychic pause as well. You are forced to think about the sacrifices of those who have given their lives defending freedom.
What is also fascinating is that this somber day is followed immediately the next day by Independence day, just like July 4th.
The confluence of these two days is very much on purpose.
The point is this, perhaps we here in the US, owe our defenders of freedom the same type of recognition.
With Memorial Day rapidly approaching, perhaps thinking of it as the start of summer, or just a cool Monday off from work is not the right way to view it. Let’s all take a moment to think about the real meaning of citizenship.