This year Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, as it is officially called, was observed from Wednesday night to Thursday night.
The State Ceremony held at Yad Vashem was broadcast live on Israeli television. As has become traditional, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau lit the large memorial torch.
President Reuven Rivlin spoke to the crowd, which was so spread out in the plaza that most guests had to watch the large screens on each side of the stage in order to see the program.
After a musical interlude, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke.
Yad Vashem supporters from around the world come to attend the emotional ceremony.
Six survivors, one by one, aided by a younger family member, lit the six memorial flames for six million murdered Jews.
The life stories of the six survivors are presented in six short videos. One theme runs through these brief glimpses into the past: having arrived in Israel after undergoing difficulties that are beyond imagination, they are proud to have succeeded in raising new generations of proud and accomplished Jews.
The past cannot be redone. But,
each year the IDF Honor Guard stands on the stage. The young soldiers are symbols of a bright future.
The traditional prayer for the dead is recited each year. I thought I could hear the words reverberating from the Judean Hills around us.
At 10:00 am, the next morning, a two-minute siren sounded. Jerusalem stopped to remember.
The day was marked by a long list of programs honoring survivors and remembering the victims.
Much more, but I decided to end with the Hatikvah which concluded the Yad Vashem ceremony.
Hope for the future.
Mourn and celebrate.
Jerusalem has a very long list of public events free of charge for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 70th Independence Day, iwhich will be celebrated next week.
Going to need some time to rest up first.