23,447 of my brothers and sisters

Those who should be here and are not.

We remember each and every one of them,
and pay tribute.

To them and to those they have left behind –

It is because of them that our nation has a State.

Those that were killed in battle, murdered by terrorists,

And those that managed to continue living though the pain of their loss is enough to make them want to lay down and die.

It is not enough to remember our soldiers and their sacrifice.

It is not enough to honor our heroes.

Our nation has so many heroes…

We must remember that their parents, brothers and sisters, wives, sons and daughters walk amongst us.

People that have grief in their heart and smiles on their faces.

People who feel the vacuum left behind and make sure to create, alongside it – that emptiness never goes away – new life, friends, accomplishments… what stunning accomplishments!

Tonight and tomorrow the nation will stop and pay special attention.

23,447 families… so so many in such a tiny nation…

No one is left untouched and yet grief is not evenly distributed.

Some amongst us feel the weight more than others. And to them, the burden is not confined to a single day in the year. To them the transition between Memorial Day and Independence today is much more than difficult and harsh, as it is to all Israelis – to them it is gut wrenching, unspeakable.

23,447

We must remember them all.


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