10 May, 2016
"……They are gone from our midst,
All their laughter, their youth and their splendor.
But we know that a friendship like that,
We are bound all our lives to remember,
For a love that in battle is forged,
Will endure while we live, fierce and tender…..
(SHIR HAREUT – Haim Guri)
Today at dusk, will mark the opening of "The Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism" (Yom Hazikaron l'Chalalei Ma'arachot Yisrael ul'Nifge'ei Pe'ulot Ha'eivah). It is the most solemn day of the year, as every Israeli household has lost family members, friends or neighbors.
Yom Hazikaron is the national Remembrance Day observed in Israel for those who fell since 1860, when Jews were first allowed to live in Palestine outside of Jerusalem's Old City walls. Since then 23,447 have died defending Israel. There are in Israel 16,307 bereaved families – some having lost more than one member. The families are Jewish, Druze, Circassians, Christians and Bedouins. We also remember that there are thousands of IDF handicapped that live amongst us with physical and mental wounds that never truly heal.
As always pain and joy are intertwined, and on Wednesday evening at sundown we will celebrate life that they bestowed upon us, and commence Israel's 68th anniversary of independence celebrations at the annual ceremony on Mount Herzl
This year's Independence theme is “civilian heroism, 14 beacon lighters have been singled out for extraordinary contributions to society, either through personal tragedies or through acts of courage in the face of mortal danger.
One of the beacom lighters is Rona Ramon, widow of astronaut Ilan Ramon z"l, who also lost her son Assaf, an Israel Air Force pilot who was killed when his plane crashed in 2009. She was commended for having turned personal tragedy into a force for good by contributing to society and the nation, in memory of her loved ones.
May the lord bless and keep Israel safe. Please see enclosed the Special Yizkor Prayer Memorializing Israel's Fallen Heroes.
Am Israel Chai!
Yom Atzmaut Sameach!
Please share this letter with your chaverot, family (especially the younger generation), friends, colleagues and social media lists
President, World WIZO