There are few families in Israel for whom Memorial Day does not bring back memories of loved ones killed in battle, or struck down in cold blood by terrorists. Throughout this tiny country, people of all backgrounds come together, on the eve of Independence Day, to first remember those whose sacrifices paved the way to freedom.
But of all the commemoration ceremonies taking place, few will have been as raw as that of the OneFamily organization, which helps victims of terrorism and their families cope with their trauma and loss.
Hundreds of people, including children, bereaved family members, and friends gathered outside the OneFamily building in Jerusalem for the event, which was initiated nine years ago by a group of bereaved children who felt uncomfortable attending their local public community ceremonies. OneFamily's event provides a place for them to mark the event as part of a "family", among the only people in the country who can truly identify with their emotions on such a difficult day.
OneFamily chose to share a few excerpts from the ceremony to enable communities outside of Israel to stand in solidarity with Israel's survivors of terrorism.