This blog post is written by Maccabee, a student delegate in Israel as part of Kadima's partnership program with the Ort Yad Singalovski school:
"This Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) is not familiar to me. I am an American, here with my grade, on the Israeli Memorial Day for their fallen soldiers and victims of terror. Although in the States I have lived through many of these days, none of them are like this. There are no barbecues, no sales, no celebrations. But there is one thing. Awareness. Awareness of someone's brother, someone's wife, someone's friend. Today at the Palmach Museum I was moved. At the beginning of the exhibition the videos were very light and fun but suddenly the content became very real very quickly. As a teenager, I know what it feels like to want to belong to something. To devote myself to a cause. This is exactly what these young brave soldiers did. They risked, and some lost, their lives do to their brave dedication to the State of Israel. There were a few moments where I was left speechless. I could not comprehend all of the emotions, feelings, and empathy I had towards these people. I am an American in Israel on Yom Hazikaron. And there is no place I'd rather be."
For information on the Palmach Museum, we encourage you to visit: Palmach Museum.
The Palmach (Hebrew: פלמ"ח, acronym for Plugot Maḥatz (Hebrew: פלוגות מחץ), lit. "strike forces") was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv (Jewish community) during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine.
The following reflections are shared with us by Lital:
I have finally experienced Yom Hazikaron in Israel. The Kadima delegation went to a ceremony at Rockah school. We have finally heard the actual siren that is played in the beginning of the ceremony for us to take a minute and commemorate all the fallen soldiers. When I heard the siren, chills were running down me and all I thought about was how thankful I am for those fallen soldiers that risked their lives for us. Kids started reading and singing songs. It was a very emotional night for me because I have never experienced such a big ceremony for Yom Hazikaron before. There was one song playing that just hit me and I started balling into tears. I looked around and everybody else was also crying because this night meant so much to all of us. Everyone took it very seriously and that's a big part of what made this night so special and emotional. Also, when we went in the morning to the Palmach Museum we saw several soldiers and it felt so good to see them and wave to them. I have always wanted to be in Israel during Yom Hazikaron and now that I'm finally here it feels so different and nice than in LA when we celebrate it.