This evening marks the beginning of Israeli independence day celebrations, marked in Israel by the Hebrew date of heh be'Iyaar, rather than the common calendar date of May 15. We're 58 years old, well past middle age for people, still quite young for a nation. We're also about 3,000 years old, among the oldest nations in the world who still preserve much of their ancient language and culture, along with the Chinese and the Greeks.
Today was Israel's memorial day for our fallen dead. Over 22,000 have fallen in all the wars and violence that befell the Zionist community in Palestine and the State of Israel since 1860. It is fitting that memorial day is marked just prior to independence day, to remind us of the debt that we owe to those who died, to many more who were maimed, to the widows, orphans and bereft parents of the fallen. Every person who dies in wars or by violence is one too many, but the number of Israeli casualties is dwarfed by the losses of the Jewish people in the pogroms of Europe and in the Holocaust that followed. Independence as a price, but it is cheaper than the price of servitude.
Ami Isseroff on 05.02.06 @ 10:01 PM CST [link]