Yom Hazikaron: Rememberance, public and personal

Shortly Israel and Jewish communities around the world will be observing Yom Hazikaron with public ceremonies to honour and remember Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror.

Such events afford each of us the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of so many others which must never be forgotten.

When visiting Israel I am frequently struck by the large number of plaques and/or small monuments which have been set up across the country to honour and commemorate events which took place at a particular site. These have frequently involved the loss of life.

Similar to visiting the graves of soldiers buried in the Har Herzl cemetery, though they elicit feelings of sadness they also leave me feeling proud to have been present at such an important place. To be able to remember in a very personal way the sacrifices which were made by others is profoundly humbling.

Saying a prayer or reciting tehillim, I also take a photograph and later try to figure out what the Ivrit text says. This too I find is an ongoing way of remembering.

Were I lucky enough to live in Israel I would try to visit and perhaps maintain a few such sites as part of my personal Yom Hazikaron observance. Perhaps some of our readers could take such an activity upon themselves on behalf of those of us living in the diaspora.

Remembering and honouring the sacrifices of others is truly a rewarding obligation.

About the Author
Yonatan Michael Curry is retired Canadian Public servant who has been a frequent traveler to Israel since 2003. With an interest in daily life and its associated values he brings a fresh, observant and unbiased view on various aspects of Israeli daily life. And not without a bit of humour. Though he has never rented a car while there Yonatan has travelled the length and breadth of Israel.