Most Americans are back to work,
having finished their leftover Thanksgiving turkeys.
Australians down under are getting ready for summer holidays.
The Israeli tanks facing Gaza
and the IDF battle-ready reserves at the border have returned home.
But before pre-election politics takes over all the headlines,
there are three important things to remember
now that Operation Pillar of Defense has ended.
3. Schools were closed for over a week in much of Israel.
Not only young children stayed home with anxious parents,
but medical schools and universities in the line of fire were closed.
This yeshiva study hall is located on the second floor of the building.
It is usually full of students day and night,
but it was emptied during Pillar of Defense.
Many students were called up for army service,
and for the rest, it was too dangerous.
It was more than 15 seconds away from the nearest shelter.
2. Bomb shelters had become a way of life in Southern Israel.
This Kiryat Malachi shelter was furnished with activities for children,
but the playground nearby was empty,
as parents with young children stayed close to the shelter entrance.
Remember, there are only 15 seconds to get everyone to safety.
With a break in the rocket fire, there was time for simple things
like food shopping.
Some people were forced to sleep in community shelters for safety.
“Lucky” families had their own reinforced room at home.
These girls have grown up with the threat of rockets.
As we all gathered in their safe room during a red alert siren,
they were happy to make faces and smile for the camera.
Many Hamas rockets do land in open spaces in Southern Israel.
But perhaps the ONE most important thing to remember
is that those Hamas rockets from Gaza can and do kill.
It only took only 20 seconds to murder
three people sitting in this living room.
After 12,000 rockets from Gaza,
it was time to #StopTheRockets.