Jerusalem 9/11 Memorial: Behind the Camera

15 years have past

since September 11, 2001,

but I can still remember the bluest, clearest sky,

and best weather on that day in Washington, DC.

We had moved back from New York City a few days earlier.

Having a blue sky in Jerusalem, Israel, is a given all summer,

no one moves to DC for the weather.

There was a good reason that foreign diplomats stationed in DC

received hazard pay in the days before air conditioning.

But it was so nice that morning,

I went for a walk as work was being done on our new kitchen.

The destruction of the twin towers of the WTC

and with its immense loss of life

has overshadowed the loss of life at

 the Pentagon, the heart of the US military command.

For those of us living in the DC area,

the attack on the Pentagon affected our family and friends

in too many ways to recount here now.

 The 15th anniversary of 9/11 was remembered in Israel.

Buses took passengers from Jerusalem on a round-about route,

under the new fast-train tracks under construction

towards the JNF-KKY Jerusalem Park,

Jerusalem JNF park Memorial 9 11

slowly and cautiously down the winding road.

After an hour on the bus

we were on the other side of the tracks

Jerusalem train track Israel

and across from the cemetery on Har Hamenuchot.

Jerusalem memorial sept eleven

Dignitaries and guests waited in the memorial plaza for the program to begin.

Jerusalem Israel JNF memorial

The names of all 2,996 victims are listed on the wall.

The only memorial outside of US to list all the names.

Jerusalem Nine Eleven memorial

The honor guard in full dress

was positioned cleverly in front of the cool air blowers

and were protected by the sun shade.

Jerusalem memorial for 9 11 , 15 years

What were the Marines thinking?

Jerusalem Israel September 11 memorial

Israeli families of victims placed a floral memorial wreath

as did Israeli and international dignitaries.

Jerusalem memorial for September 11

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro stood in respect

 after placing his wreath at the base of the memorial

fashioned in the design of a US flag shaped as a flame.

A piece from the Twin Towers is encased in the base,

and can be seen through the rectangular window above those wreaths.

Jerusalem Israel memorial to killed on September 11

After the official ceremony,

with all its impressive speeches this year,

flowers were provided to those who wished to place them

on the names in memory of those who lost their lives on 9 /11.

Jerusalem Israel 9-11 memorial ceremony for 15 years police delegation

A delegation of 50 US police officers were in attendance.

Jerusalem memorial Sept 11

Their hats and uniforms were imprinted with US and Israeli flags.

There was a positive feeling of unity

that is not felt often enough these days.

As WJC President Ronald Lauder said,

 “The pain of loss never goes away,

but happiness comes from freedom,

and free people rise over hate.


More photos from ceremony


How to Understand the Middle East in 2 Minutes

Things can change in the Middle East in a minute or a day 

or as seen in the Arab Spring in Egypt and Syria…

one can never predict the timing of change.

Last week in Jerusalem a few things caught my attention

that you may have missed.

The media gave much attention to Palestinian hunger strikers, 

but in the open area near the Israeli Supreme Court,

"picture tent" , "photo hunger strike tent", "Image protest tent"

there was a tent for another hunger strike, by those who supported a law

against destroying the Ulpana houses of Beit El.

"picture ohel", "photo hunger stride", "image hunger strike tent"

On Sunday MK Daniel Hershkowitz arrived with his security team.

"picture Daniel Hershkowitx", "photo Daniel Herschkowitz", "image MK Hershkowtiz"

First he chatted with the “settler activists” working in the tent

"picture Hershkowitz and Katz", Photo Knesset members", "image Israel politicians"

and had a discussion with MK  Yaakov Katz, known as Katzeleh.

"picture Hershkowtiz" , Image hunger strike tent", "photo table protesters"

Then MK Hershkowitz, the Minister of Science and Technology,

 sat and spoke to the crowd.

But on Wednesday, after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,

 he did not vote for the bill and thus kept his job as minister.

The politics involved are way too complicated for me to explain. 

Also on Wednesday, at Ofer Military Prison,

there was another trial for Shchada Aved Shchada Shata.

He has been convicted of stealing the gun from Asher Palmer‘s body.

Shchada stopped his car, climbed down from the highway

to reach the site where the car had crashed and stole the dead man’s gun.

He is a 47-year-old father of eight with sick relatives,

who wants compassion from the court,

though he showed none at the time of the crime.

In contrast, a Israeli military court had previously permitted

"photo Asher Palmer", "picture Michael Palmer", " Israel Palestinian"

 Palmer supporters to hold photos of Asher and Yonatan,

the infant son who was in the car and also died in the crash 

at the trial of those who threw the large rock from a moving car,

but not at this past Wednesday hearing.

Michael Palmer, the victims’ father and grandfather was allowed  

to enter a written statement as a victim of terror.

Meanwhile back in Jerusalem, 

"picture German flag",. "photo German flag", "image flag Germany"

the German flag was still flying after the visit of the

President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck.

President Gauck thinks the problem in the Middle East is the “settlers,”

wonder if he ever reads Khaled Abu Toameh?

"picture Jerusalem", "photo flags in Jerusalem", "image flags"

As they were taking down the German and Israeli flags, 

"Jerusalem Park image", "picture Palestinians Jerusalem", "photo Jerusalem Arabs"

 this Arab family was enjoying an outing in the park below,  

"picture Jerusalem", :"photo Jerusalem", "image wreath"

near a memorial and wreath in memory of the bus bombing

on February 22, 2004 where 8 Jews were killed.

Understand the Middle East in 2 minutes?

… impossible.