Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Memorial Day And Israel Independence Day

Memorial Day ceremony at school. You can see the flags as I can't post faces.
It's a two day event. We don't celebrate Independence Day without first remembering those who have fallen defending our country and protecting us all on a daily basis. We also remember those killed in acts of terror.

It feels strange to be writing about Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror just one week after I wrote a heavy post about Holocaust Remembrance Day. But in history it did all happen so close together and in chronological order. The Holocaust (1938 - 1945), Israel Independence (1948) and so many wars since then.

So yesterday every school, every synagogue, and every community held a ceremony to remember 23,544 fallen. Everyone knows somebody. No, I lie, everybody knows several people who either didn't come home from the army or were murdered in a terrorist attack. This is the reality in a small country surrounded by hostile nations and in which every child, sibling, and parent served in the army. (Not including those of us who joined this amazing little nation after the age of 25.)

The view from the Tayelet
Then night falls and we celebrate Independence Day. DD and I went up to the Tayelet (the Promenade) overlooking the Old City and surrounding neighbourhoods on the opposite mountains. There was a live band. They had me as soon as they started singing The Proclaimers. There were street performers on stilts, market stalls, and the inevitable fireworks.

I suddenly realized that DD had never seen fireworks up close before as we usually watch the display from Mount Herzl from our balcony. It's pretty but far away. Last night she exclaimed, "It's like a dream!" And later she whispered under breadth, "best day ever."

Today we got up late. We saw some of the Air Force fly-past from the balcony as we ate a late breakfast. This afternoon it's the traditional barbeque parties and general relaxation with friends.

Happy 69th Birthday Israel!

"It's like a dream!"


  1. I love fireworks! We have the May Victoria Day long weekend coming up - this year it will be May 20,21,22 and it is the unofficial start to the summer. I have known it to be warm enough to wear shorts & t-shirts and cold enough to have to wear a ski jacket when lighting the fireworks! It is also the weekend when hordes of people hit the gardening centres to start their plantings.
    This year is Canada's 150th birthday so there will be lots of events and parties but the biggest of course will be July 1st in Ottawa.

    1. OK, you need to explain what July 1st is. Canada sounds a lot like the UK with people hitting the garden centres with the first good weather.

  2. Happy Birthday, Israel. May you live a long time.
    Myra from Winnipeg, Canada

  3. July 1st is Canada's Independence Day - 1867 - so this year is birthday #150!

    1. Aha, thank you for that. Why don't I know anything about Canadian independence? We learnt all about the USA in school but nothing about Canada. I don't even know who you got independence from, though I assume it was from the French. I'm going to google it now and try to educate myself a bit.

    2. Not really independence day but rather coming into our own as a separate country - The first explorers were French and possessed New France (now the Maritimes and Quebec) while the Brits "owned" the American colonies. The Brits defeated the French at the battle of The Plains of Abraham at Quebec City and "Canada" became a British colony. We became a separate country in 1867 but still part of the British Commonwealth with the Queen as the head and that still applies today. This is a very simplified version of events. :-)

    3. I forgot about The Commonwealth. Thank you - simplified is good.