Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 Remembered

This morning on my way to work, I saw a man dressed in a suit. On his lapel, was an American flag. I don't know why I asked, but I did, "Why the American flag?"

He answered in Hebrew, "because today is 9/11 and I'm going to a ceremony."

With all that is going on in my life...pressures, work, kids, holidays, wondering if the ceasefire will hold (and when it will be broken)...I knew the day was coming but not that it had arrived.

"Yes," I answered, "Kol Hakavod."

Kol Hakavod is an amazing term in Hebrew. Roughly translated, it means "All of the honor" or "all of the respect" - because Kavod can be both honor and respect. As a phrase, it means a combination of "well done" and "good for you" and "you are doing the right thing" and so much more.

When a child gives his last cookie to a friend - Kol HaKavod.

When a soldier returns safely home - Kol HaKavod for your service.

When a man goes to a ceremony remembering the victims of a massive terror attack 13 years before - Kol HaKavod.

Also interesting, though we didn't have time to pursue it because my stop arrived - he told me he had come to live here only 3 weeks ago. I told him I've been here 21 years. He asked me where I came from - we come from the same home town; he's a year younger than me.

I didn't get a chance to ask his last name, where he lives now. But no matter, the important message was delivered. Good for you - and for Israel - that we join America in remembering and honoring the victims of 9/11.

I wasn't in America when 9/11 happened. I was in my living room when my children called me. We were used to terror attacks happening here very frequently. That was before we built the security fence/wall that has cut terror attacks down by more than 90%. Say what you want, but there are hundreds of Israelis alive today because of that wall.

Only it wasn't Israel that was attacked on that day - it was New York...and Washington. Innocent people - that part we were very familiar with. They went to work, not imagining that hatred would drive terrorists to attack the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Hours of horror later, September 11 became a day that will live on forever - in memory, in honor, but also as a lesson for the west. This is the face you fight, the hatred you must acknowledge.

May God bless the memories of those murdered on 9/11 - may their families always remember and honor what they lost and may they never think we have forgotten.


Brat said...

"Kol Hakavod" indeed....

Remembering with honour....

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Paula. Kol hakavod! I was with my baby daughter at a play group that day, when an Israeli girl there with her little son, bent close to listen to the radio on in the kitchen, said that the Twin Trade Towers had been attacked by terrorists. We went home, turned on the TV, and I remained glued to it day and night until Saturday, four days and nights, I slept fitfully on the sofa in front of the TV. Grief, disbelief, horror as I could never have imagined it. And deeper disbelief when a close Muslim friend asked me "Don't you think you deserved it?" I said no, these were innocent people who just went to work that day. She said But you support Israel. I said that our support for Israel had nothing to do with the attacks, but that to the extent that that might be true, then yes. I support Israel, and will always support Israel, and will not turn away or change my opinion from fear of terrorism. I would be beneath contempt were I to do so.

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