We call it YOM HaZIKARON. It is our Memorial Day. It falls, with a terrible regularity every year, one day prior to our Independence Day, one day prior to Israel’s Independence Day.

We take this emotional roller-coaster ride every year. We go from grief and sadness to joy and celebration. We realize the cost of our tiny little nation’s freedom and independence.

My very first personal encounter with this grief and rememberance was when my grandfather’s nephew, Ya’akov Springer, was murdered by Black September murderers during the 1972 Munich Olympiad.

During the Yom Kippur War of 1973 Nachshon Yanai and Amir H Tal, fellow Golani Brigade brothers fell during that fighting. Avinoam Mordish, Dudu Gaon, Uzi Degani and Daniel Birnbaum fell during that war, and they were members of the Kibbutz I lived on, Yad Mordechai.

In later years murdering Hamas terrorists would claim the lives of Amatzia Ben Haim, Ami Saltzman and Beno Moshe. Ami and Beno were two of my very best friends.

There is a saying that time heals all wounds. It does not. The memories I cherish of these friends and brothers are forever burned into my soul.

May their memory be blessed ז”ל.