Who Is Yom HaZikaron in Memory of?

By Rotem Linchevski & Talya Machpood

Our Young Emissaries from Israel


Every year, we wonder why are Yom HaZikaron (the IDF Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) so close on the calendar?

Why do they have to be two days? Is it really necessary to separate them?

These questions lead us to a more profound question: who is this Memorial Day in memory of? It’s definitely not for the families of fallen soldiers.

Those who lost a son, a daughter, a sister or a brother, don’t need a day to remember their loved ones; they carry the memory of their loved ones with them 365 days a year. So who is it for?

In our opinion, this day is for us, the ones who haven’t experienced that loss, and hopefully never will. We need a reminder of the price that we had to pay for our independence.

We have to remember that the miracle called “the State of Israel” didn’t just show up. It was the fruit of hard work and sacrifices that men and women made for us to live in a safe and democratic state.

In a society that is built on Jewish values, we have to remember to sanctify the value of life. When every one of us in Israel knows a soldier (it can be your big brother, the one who was in your math class or the son of your neighbors), we need to be unified in moments of happiness and sadness.

So when you’re celebrating this Yom Ha’Atzmaut, carry those we lost in your hearts. Show them that their sacrifice was not for nothing. Show them how our common dream is now a 70-year-old reality.

Please join us on Tuesday, April 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the JCC for a community memorial ceremony for those who have fallen and to the victims of terrorist attacks. 


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