What Really Counts on Memorial Day

I am writing this post in honor of all loved ones who are defending America.  I am filled with admiration for their sacrifice. In Israel, there is a military draft for young men (three years) and young women (two years). Each Israeli Memorial Day in May, there is a nation-wide siren that goes off and people in the entire country stop whatever they’re doing and stand silently to reflect and pay homage to the military services. It’s like a gigantic game of “Freeze!” No matter where you are, you stop. Even the train stops on the track. It’s a very sad day in Israel.

It’s so important for people to take a moment and pause, wherever they are, to think about people who serve in the American military.

My husband, Jonny, served in the Israeli Military for many years as a combat soldier and then in reserve duty and our children — we have six children — served. I strongly believe that citizens can give back to their country in some form of national service as a sign of respect and gratitude.

And anyone who has family in the military knows that nobody wants to send their sons to war. So we will pray for peace and hope that next Memorial Day, there will be no more grieving families. I salute and send my respect to all military families today.

Speaking of peace, here’s an interview I did with Laura E. Vasilion on “Peace Under the Olive Tree,” in her post, Talking to the World. (Thank you to Tom S for making the connection.)

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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2 Responses to What Really Counts on Memorial Day

  1. Happy Memorial Day America. This is a wonderful tribute.

  2. Tom Scott says:

    What a wonderful and respectful tradition Israel has to honor those who gave the ultimate scrifice for their country. I wish that we had such a tradition in the states. Too many people view Memorial Day as a day to party. Thank you for blessing this day with your heartfelt thoughts.

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