Many small towns around Israel hold a community tekes, ceremony,
making it is easy to decide where to go on Yom Hazikaron,
the Remembrance Day for Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror.
One of the most impressive ceremonies I attended was in Arad,
in 2001, during the intifada.
Unlike the US Memorial Day weekend,
this day is not one of great shopping and happy start to the summer.
Israeli flags, large and small, start to appear soon after Passover.
In Jerusalem, Israel, there are dozens,
perhaps hundreds of memorial events held on Yom HaZikaron.
Last year I went to the main military tekes at the Kotel, Western Wall
where the huge flame was lit and watched over by a military honor guard.
Every year thousands attend and watch on TV.
Here was President Peres’s motorcade on Jaffa Street
on his way to speak at this year’s tekes.
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at a service at Yad LeBanim,
so the site was covered over for security for days in advance.
The Jewish Agency Building stage was ready for a morning program.
Large memorial flames could be found in and on buildings,
as were signs publizing some community events.
This Israeli flag, memorial candle and talit were the simple,
but meaningful display in the lobby of Heichel Shlomo.
So many choices;
but I wanted to see what was happening in Gan Sacher.
Other than an occasional jogger, the park was deserted.
While down the road, as usual,
hundreds attended the well planned program prepared by the Scouts.
Speakers slowly read the names of local fallen and the dates they fell.
25,578 people have been killed here since 1860.
92 lives were lost last year.
Everyone knows someone to mourn.
so many wars, so many more terror attacks,
but as soon as the sun sets,
it will be time to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut,
Israel at 65.
Am Yisrael Chai