Dror Israel’s youth movement runs the annual Bouquet for the Fallen initiative and the educators’ communities present a new exhibit for Israel’s Memorial Day.
Every Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers in Israel, for the past 40 years, teen participants of Dror Israel’s youth movement gather at military cemeteries to pass out bouquets of flowers to families in mourning, free of charge. This immense undertaking happens across the country with hundreds of high schoolers participating and is carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Defense.
The project began in response to florists' price-gouging of bouquets on Yom HaZikaron, leaving bereaved families with no option but to pay exorbitant prices. Youth movement members wanted to make sure that every family visiting the national cemeteries would receive a bouquet free of charge. Each year the youth work together with florists and flower growers throughout the country to assemble and distribute the bouquets.
This year, due to restrictions on the size of gatherings, the youth movement also passed out bouquets for the five days surrounding Memorial Day in order to reach all the family members visiting at different times. The evening before Memorial Day is marked throughout Israel by community ceremonies and evenings of singing memorial songs, dozens of which were organized by or with Dror Israel's educators' communities. The next day, early in the morning of Memorial Day, over 5000 youth movement members gathered at 250 military cemeteries across the country to continue to pass out the free bouquets to grieving families.
This year, in addition to the Bouquet for the Fallen initiative, Dror Israel’s intentional communities ran a new exhibit about Memorial Day. The exhibit, guided by trained Dror Israel educators, tells the history of how Memorial Day has been shaped throughout Israeli history. The exhibit is being shown and guided in 10 cities and towns across the country in schools, community centers and workplaces. The exhibit is meant to strengthen Israeli society’s discourse around Memorial Day and its importance and invites participants to explore the role of memory in society while commemorating fallen soldiers and victims of terror from all over Israel and from all sectors of society.
May their memories be a blessing.