Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, was as usual intensely felt by many in Israel. There were compelling personal stories, like Varda’s, emotional ceremonies in thousands of neighborhoods, and 2 minutes of silence with its siren.
The official state opening ceremony at Yad Vashem, had politicians, speeches, torches, memorial flames and prayers for the dead. The videos of survival stories were almost impossible to believe. It’s amazing that anyone was left to tell them after such long ordeals.
The IDF Honor Guard stood under a large screen projecting the ceremony to the attendance in the plaza and TV viewers.
On the screen above these soldiers, is a view of the large memorial inside Yad Vashem with its 300 photos, a memorial to the murdered, of just one small town in Europe.
But it is this photo of IDF honor guard standing under the theme of this year program, that stands out in my mind from hundreds of photos and words.
Everything is Forbidden to Us, and Yet We Do Everything, feels like it could be said for today as well as the past, as does, The Struggle to Maintain the Human Spirit during the Holocaust.
Shouts of boycotts, protests against occupation, and yet news of medical discoveries and advanced technologies are published daily. Renewed activity and attacks from Gaza, with murmurs of yet another war, and these young soldiers will be forced again to struggle to maintain their human spirit.