Sunday, April 22, 2007

Remembrance and Independence

Israel’s Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims falls on Monday,
April 22, immediately followed by its 59th Independence Day.

Once again, it’s that time of year,Where smile is tinged with tear.

But that’s the life of the Israeli, the Jew;
Times of joy, and sadness too.
Always together, always hand-in-hand,
Rolling, rolling... like tides across the sand.

In Israel the union is especially acute,
One minute they shake; the next they shoot.
But such is life here, and so it looks ahead,
For us to live, Some have to stop. Dead.

Today we remember those who gave their lives for us to live;
Those who had so much life in them, so much left to give.
They fell in ’48, they fell in ’56,
’67, ’73, ’82, 2006...

Bricks in the building of a country, Seeds in the sowing of a land.
But how much will be left underground, Before the building will finally stand?

The pain is felt across the divides; United. Silence. Tears.
Memories are clear and fresh, Despite the months and years.

For some it’s past, for most it’s here, The reality of Israel today.
Still fighting for its existence, With a heavy price to pay.

And then we climb, up half a flagpole, The tears drip into cheers,
And optimistic as we are The bloodstains turn to beers.

Israel is here to stay. Israel is strong and brave.
Israel is hi-tec, cool, Israel’s on a wave.

So from the depths of sorrow, We celebrate our home,
By banging plastic hammers And spraying shaving foam!

Is that how we rejoiced in ’48? Is that how we show our thanks?
To 18-year-olds who fell in battle, Or burnt to death in tanks?

Do they teach in our schools, The art of how to appreciate,
Or do they assume you’ll find it out When it really is too late?

It seems that that’s what happens When we stand on Remembrance Day
We simply appreciate life, The life that’s gone away.

And the switch seems all too hard; To value our own life in minutes, and days,
So we just go fry up steaks And clog up all the freeways.

Yet there are those who offer thanks to God For giving us a land,
And those who study ancient texts About His outstretched hand.

Israel is a country of life and death, Cries and graves a national chore…

We know we’re prepared to die for it,
But what are we living for?

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