This year’s Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) is like no other – all military cemeteries are closed, and no large ceremonies are being held. Bereaved families are grieving quietly at home, or visiting graves prior to Memorial Day itself.
Dror Israel's annual Operation Wreath for the Fallen, which normally takes place on Memorial Day itself, took place all this week as students distribute wreaths at no cost to families who have lost loved ones in Israel's war and from acts of terrorism – all in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines.
Dror Israel’s youth movement members have been handing out flowers on Memorial Day for 39 years, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and longtime partner Shimon Aharon, who farms flowers on Kfar Ruth near Modi’in. This year, the youth movement was committed to continuing to give the bereaved families a sense of appreciation and support at a time when other public activities and ceremonies will not be taking place.
“This morning, we went to hand out flowers at Mount Herzl cemetery, together with the Ministry of Defense, and strictly following Ministry of Health guidelines. During this pandemic, I felt a special need to support the bereaved families and show them that they’re not alone. I was moved to see appreciation in the eyes of family members, and I will continue coming here to hand out flowers for as long as allowed,” says Roey Moisa, youth movement coordinator from Jerusalem.
Additional Dror Israel activities for Yom Hazikaron this year include:
· Online ceremonies and study sessions for hundreds of different groups of all ages
· Commemoration exhibits at thirty Israel Police stations, with discussions in small groups of seven
· Free and public distribution of plans for online lessons for use by teachers
· Distribution of small commemoration corners with signs, flowers and candles for people to set up in their building lobbies, led by the Rehovot Social Justice Community
· Ceremonies and educational activities at our child care programs for children of essential hospital workers