Every year on Iyyar 3rd, a siren rings out after sunset at 8:00 PM for one minute to signify the beginning of Yom Hazikaron, national remembrance day observed in Israel for all fallen soldiers who served in the IDF and civilian victims of hostilities. During the siren, there is silence. Everyone is standing. Some with their heads down and some up, some are crying and some not, but they all stand to respect the fallen.
During the next 24 hours the Israeli people remember. It is a day that is all-consuming; the news, radio, papers, and television channels are only showing content about the day. Restaurants are closed, the Israeli flag is flown at half-mast, ceremonies are held throughout the country at schools, government buildings, and other locations – remembrance is everywhere.
Everyone has a connection to this day, someone from their family, army unit, city or other area of their life.
For me, this day has always been important and brings with it a lot of sadness. I used to be a soldier, and this day carries even more meaning and weight for me. l am proud of the privilege I had in serving my country and helping to protect the people in it, like many people before and after me. I feel blessed to remember those who can’t on this day.
Sunset marks the end of the 24 hour of the memorial day and with it also begins Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, to symbolize and emphasize the connection between the fallen, their devotion and self-sacrifice, and the resurrection of the country of Israel.
As I have been thinking about how to share this remembrance day with all of you, I wanted to give you as authentic of a glimpse as possible as into what this day really feels like in Israel and for Israelis. With that in mind, I created and built, in partnership with the JCC Shlichot in St. Louis and Atlanta, a Yom Hazikaron Virtual Museum for our community to explore. Additionally, I am hosting an event called Taste of Memories on Sunday, April 11th from 5:00 – 6:00 PM. I would like to invite you to take a virtual tour of the museum and then join me for the program on April 11th. The details for the museum and program are below.
Yom Hazikaron Virtual Museum
Please take a look around the museum, click on the video links and hover over the QR codes for more interactive experience.
Taste of Memories Project – In Memory Of Sean Carmeli
Sunday, April 11 | 5:00 – 6:00 PM | Zoom
This program will honor the memory of fallen Israeli soldier, Sean Carmeli. Taste of Memories is a project that was created to honor the memories of fallen soldiers and share a favorite recipe of a fallen loved one and share memories of them. Together we will prepare Sean’s favorite lasagna and learn more about him.
I hope you will consider joining for this program and helping me to commemorate this important day. Please pass this along to others, this program is recommended for ages 12 and up and open to the entire Houston community.
Israeli Shlicha and Reserved IAF Staff Sergeant