Candle.

“Ima, what’s this?”

“That? That’s… a candle.”

“But why is it here?”

“Why is it here…

…Remember how I’m from New York? I was a kid in New York. Like you’re a kid in Tzur Hadassah. I grew up there… with Grandma and Grandpa… It’s where I went to school. You know?”

“Ya.”

“So… many years ago… something… very bad happened. In New York. And… a lot of people got an ow-a.”

“And Grandma?”

“…No… not Grandma… people. People I don’t know. But they lived in New York, like me. And they got an ow-a. So every year… after my yomuledet…   I light another candle. For those people. From New York.”

“Oh.”

The first victim on 9/11.

Ok, I think this will be the last time I cry over 9/11 this year. No promises, though.

A hero’s tale: Daniel Levin was murdered by the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11 just moments before they crashed it into the World Trade Center. A decade later, his family speaks for the very first time. 

The first victim on 9/11 most likely fought back as the terrorists worked their way into the cockpit. It’s no shock then that he was an Israeli-American who served in combat during his IDF years.

Watch the video and learn more about Daniel Levin.

The decade.

In the last decade…

  • I woke up one morning and flipped channels until I found…
  • I stared in horror at the TV…
  • I helped fellow students as the Residential Assistant…
  • I cried…
  • I prayed for security…
  • I went to class…
  • I majored in Terrorism & War…
  • I became a political activist…
  • I watched the second intifada take all kinds of lives…
  • I prayed for security…
  • I traveled in Israel…
  • I studied abroad…
  • I watched war break from an English dorm…
  • I felt like an unwanted stranger abroad…
  • I prayed for security…
  • I decided to move to Israel…
  • I graduated from university…
  • I voted in a US election…
  • I moved to Israel…
  • I prayed for security…
  • I watched us dismantle Gush Katif…
  • I met a guy…
  • I got married during war with Lebanon…
  • I prayed for security…
  • I got another degree, in Conflict Resolution…
  • I had a kid…
  • I watched war break out in Gaza…
  • I prayed for security…
  • I had another kid…
  • I watched the Middle East find new voice…
  • I prayed for security…
  • I watch the Middle East form its Phoenix…
  • I pray for security…

(They say not much is different after ten years. I say, for the most part, it is.)

 

A thought on respect.

Can you imagine if September 11 was a shopping day? A day for sales? A 4-day weekend?

Why can’t the general American Memorial Day get even 1% of the respect we give to the September 11 memorial? Yes, the latter is a specific event. Yes, it was only ten years ago, freshly tattooed to our brains.

I guess I just would have thought that by now – ten years and two+ wars later – we would have tried to reform the American Memorial Day experience just a little bit.