Monday, 19 April 2010

Love of the Land: Bad Pun on a Sad Day

Bad Pun on a Sad Day

Paula R. Stern
A Soldier's Mother
19 April '10

There is no understanding the army - it's as simple as that. You just accept what they tell you is their schedule, knowing it might change, and deal.

So, normally...

Well, forget normally. Shmulik went to a ceremony last night marking Israel's Memorial Day - a day to remember our fallen soldiers. Different units have different ways of marking the day. Many divisions send a soldier to stand by the grave of a fallen soldier from the same division. All soldiers from artillery who have fallen in our country's history, will have a soldier stand by his grave today. There when the family comes to visit their son or daughter; there to show a continued commitment to their loved one's memory.

Elie did that one was an emotional day for him, for the family, and for me. Other years, the moments were marked on bases - even once on an army bus that stopped as the siren wailed and there, on the side of the road, they marked their ceremony. Another time, they were in the desert. Elie's commander assembled his men at the time of the siren - stood them at attention - turned the jeep radio on loud so that they could hear the siren, there where there are no sounds...they paid their respects.

The army is too new to Shmulik's unit. They aren't even wearing the berets marking them as part of the Kfir division and so they had a ceremony last night and early this morning, they released the boys home for today and for tonight and tomorrow - marking Israel's Independence Day. As deeply and completely as we mourn today...we will, amazingly enough, celebrate tonight and tomorrow.

We stop and say thank you to the soldiers who have fallen. We stop and remind them that they were loved, are loved, and always, always remembered...and then we say - watch us as we celebrate what you fought for.

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Love of the Land: Bad Pun on a Sad Day

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