Now and Forever
Posted on April 18th, 2010
In just a couple hours sirens will sound across the nation of Israel. The piercing shriek reminding us of all those who have fallen in Israel’s defense can be heard from all cities and towns in our land.
It matters not whether those who hear pretend to ignore the call and what it represents or break down in tears thinking of the ultimate sacrifice that so many have made. The fact of the matter is that tonight, the very land calls out to its sons and daughters and forces us to remember.
We remember the survivors of the worst Nazi death camps who upon liberation fell in Israel’s defense while their physical and mental scars were still bloody. We remember those who were struck down liberating the Western Wall and reuniting the holy city of Jerusalem from a nineteen year brutal military occupation. We remember those who fought to their last bullets and breaths when attacked on the Golan on our holiest day of the year.
But there are so many more for us to remember, it overwhelms us. Where does it end? Soldiers who fell in Lebanon and Gaza. Soldiers killed at the checkpoints the world keeps telling us to remove?
The statistics are staggering when you think that for every soldier who has fallen, there is a mother who will never hold her child again, a father who will never see his child smile again. Brothers, sisters, friends — everyone who was close to a soldier who fell can never be quite whole again.
Yet, somehow, we carry on. There are still more Jews who are moving to Israel than leaving it. We come not because we are ignorant of the risks, we are painfully aware of them. But we still come.
Because in a world that oftentimes seems to be ruled by injustice, we stand for something pure, something honorable. Forget all the rhetoric, we Israelis just have one simple goal: To live out our lives in our ancient homeland and for once determine our own destiny as a people.
There will always be those who try and stop us. Some will use guns and rockets, Others will use UN Resolutions and absurdly named “peace” plans. Yet at the end of the day, we will survive and thrive as a nation.
Thanks to all those we remember tonight.
From an immigrant who has never had to do anything harder than ride a bike around this beautiful country, words cannot express how much I owe to all of you.
Let us carry the message of the siren from this night throughout the year.
Always in our thoughts and prayers.
Now and forever.
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