Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen (1976)

1976 Dry Bones cartoon - Peace
This cartoon, from 1976, was never published in a newspaper. It was drawn for the last page of a small Dry Bones book. The text that went with it read:
Every other cartoon in this book has appeared in the pages of The Jerusalem Post. It is the fervent prayer of the Dry Bones "staff" that the day will come when we will be able to print this one there as well. Peace...

The cartoon shows Mr. Shuldig (my alter ego) in his uniform with an olive branch in his mouth. The Hebrew letters on his shirt pocket are (from right to left) H G A and is pronounced Haga. Haga is the home guard reserve unit of old guys in outmoded uniforms and old-style helmets that, at the time, checked people's handbags at the entrances to movie houses, guarded public places, and trained for emergency operations.
My optimism led me to sign the cartoon with the date of 197?
Thirty years have gone by. And many more of our sons and daughters, friends, parents, and loved ones have fallen in uniform since then.

Today, May 2, 2006, is Memorial Day in Israel.
It is called (even in English) Yom HaZikaron.
The day is felt deeply by most Israelis and marked by visits to graves, special programs on TV, public ceremonies, candle lightings, and siren wails that bring traffic to a stop and the nation to stand at silent attention.

Today we remember and celebrate the lives of those who paid for our Independence with their lives. The somber, painful day ends when, at sundown we will mood-swing ourselves into the joy of Independence Day, barbecues, and hope for the future.
Meanwhile, we remember.

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