Happy Birthday Israel… but we remember the price.

IMG_4592soldier at flag kotel

Tonight at sundown begins Israel’s Yom HaZicharon—Day of Remembrance: the Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_HaZikaron

Last week we observed Yom HaShoah—Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was followed by a massive rocket attack from our ‘friends’ in Gaza. As I am writing this, the one-minute sirens all over Israel have begun to sound, beginning this day of remembrance and mourning. It is different in Israel, as the ‘memorial day’ here is actually that.

In America, Memorial Day for most people is a day to cookout, relax or watch sports, and there is nothing wrong with these things in themselves. Yet, to my own humiliation I have had to be reminded by my 85-year-old mother, who always attends the Memorial Day service at the local cemetery in High Point, NC. Two years ago I went with her, where a handful of other attendees numbering maybe 50 people showed, among whom were some biker guys who had served in Vietnam: they humbly thanked her for coming out.

“People don’t come out for this the way they used to,” she has said. Like the Vietnam vets, mom also remembers a high school friend who died in the Korean Conflict at the age of 19. His name was Vernon, and he is buried in that cemetery literally right across a creek from his own back yard that he played in as a child.

Since I came to Israel nearly two years ago 22 Israelis have been murdered by terrorists—men and women of all ages, rabbis, young soldiers, security guards, office workers, fathers, mothers, and one unborn child, plus the four who died in this past weekend’s rocket attacks. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/comprehensive-listing-of-terrorism-victims-in-israel

So, tonight in Israel begins a Memorial Day, with people who are remembering, and mourning the loss of their loved one(s). You can join your heart with Israel tonight by praying for those who are sorrowing and “weep with those who weep” (Romans 15:2), that somehow the Lord will comfort them.

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