On the eve of May 13, 2024, as Israel’s skies drape in hues of twilight, a great silence will embrace the nation. We come together to observe Yom Hazikaron, our Memorial Day, to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our homeland’s safety and for those who have fallen to terror since our founding year.

Families will meander through cemeteries, their gentle steps stirring the stillness, placing stones of remembrance on graves—a tradition signifying their enduring presence in our hearts. Melancholic tunes will resonate from radios, offering solace as we reflect on the lives passionately lived and heroically, yet tragically taken.

But from the depths of our collective grief, as the sun sets, we approach a profound transition. Night’s end ushers in Yom Haatzmaut, our Independence Day. It is a celebration born directly from the sacrifices we recall the day before. We salute our nation’s birth with joyous heartbeats, even as we carry the bittersweet memories of those we have lost, especially remembering the scars left by the tragic events of October 7th.

In this mosaic of sorrow and thankfulness, every city and village stands as a testament to our resilience. ALL WHILE WE ARE STILL AT WAR! With flags raised high, we dance the dance of freedom, all while cherishing the dear souls who gifted us this future. Our laughter mingles with tears, our festivities with reflection. In honoring them, we grasp the torch of liberty they have left us, pledging to shine its light ever brighter against the shadows of our past. We want to thank the fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, OUR SOLDIERS who have stood strong to fight against the enemy!

We are a people that move from mourning into exaltation, holding hands, firm in our resolve that Israel will forever stand strong. This is our narrative—where remembrance fuels our celebration, and our fallen become the pillars of our nation’s strength.