When I walked past the graves of the fallen soldiers at Mount Herzl a couple months ago it shockingly came into my mind that many soldiers that were killed were younger than I am today; and even born after I was born. Those young people fell for Israel, for defending the Israeli people against terrorism and all of those soldiers exactly knew that death could be a consequence of serving in the IDF.
Yom Hazikaron is a day that always leaves me with saddening thoughts.
The thought of Shoa survivors that lost their whole family and then fell for Israel or the thought of survivors losing their children or grandchildren.
The thought that many people in Israel know at least a family that has dealt with the loss of their child in the IDF.
There are many Israeli songs about the feelings towards war, being a soldier and losing a loved one. But there are at least as many songs about hope and the wish of so many that there will be peace one day.
On Yom Hazikaron it always becomes clear to me that without the brave soldiers that fought and fight for their country, we would not be able to celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut.
It becomes clear to me, that the Jewish people have been confronted with a lot of pain and suffering and still celebrated and celebrate life and the existence of the Jewish nation.
But as of 1948 we have Israel. It is a home for Jewish people from all over the world.
It a country that is denied by many people in the world. It is country that exists despite all the wars and terrorism.
It is a country that always remembers what price was paid in order to maintain it's existence. Yom Hazikaron is that remembrance.
Aaron Serota is 24 years old and lives in Frankfurt. He is currently studying for a Masters in accounting & finance and is a board member of the Jewish Student Union of Germany (JSUD). He is also Vice-Chairperson of Hillel Germany and sits on the Hillel International Student Cabinet.
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