Today, on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, Israeli families of soldiers who died in combat share with Ynet News reporters both the immense loss and pain they still feel today, and the inspiration and pride they have for these fallen heroes.
The first story is about Maya, who died from a suicide bombing by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Maya rushed to help her fellow soldiers after she heard the first explosion. As she tried to help evacuate her teammates, a second explosion killed her.
"Many ran away, but Maya stayed to care for her commander, Eyal Levy," said Irit [Maya’s mother]. "I would've been surprised if she hadn't. It's Maya, after all. There were moments when I was angry at her for staying. I'm proud that she did such a brave and noble thing, but I need her with me. Had she only thought of herself, she would've been here today."
There is one moment Irit says she will never forget. "When I got that knock on the door"—telling her that her daughter had been killed—"I don't wish that knock on anyone in the world. One moment later—and there's no more joy."
Time doesn't heal; it's a lie," Irit added. "I live with Maya every day, every hour, every second. Talking to her and asking her to give me strength to carry on. It's been 22 years and I still can't believe it. I've stayed then, at that knock on the door."