Eitan Haber
Photo: Shalom Bar Tal

Remembering the old-timers

Eitan Haber writes about graves of fallen soldiers who died in Israel’s early years

All cemeteries are sad places, but some sections within them are especially sad: These are the sections where the fallen soldiers from the War of Independence (1948) and Sinai War (1956) and the operations that took place between these wars are buried.


Few people visit these sections during the year, and on Memorial Day too they are not overwhelmed by visitors.


According to Defense Ministry records, about two dozen parents of War of Independence fatalities are still alive today; each and every one of them are either approaching the age of 100 or already surpassed it.


In the War of Independence, when their sons died, they were the youngest parents. Today, in their old age, they look at the military cemeteries, see the “additions” of the wars that came later, and depart the earth knowing it’s not over yet.


Indeed, these sections in the cemeteries are still frequented by the brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters of the fallen soldiers, yet the dead are destined to be forgotten, and in a few years only few people will be visiting these graves.


So here is a proposal: Our schools and youth groups should adopt these cemeteries when the time for memorial ceremonies comes around; they will nurture the memories and keep them alive because, thank God, schools will always be there. Moreover, perhaps our students will also take this opportunity to learn about some chapters in the State of Israel’s history.


פרסום ראשון: 04.18.10, 23:32
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