Last night at sundown, Israel began commemorating Yom HaZikaron, Israel Memorial Day. On this first such holiday after Operation Protective Edge last summer, there are a new group of fallen soldiers being remembered today – and a new group of family and friends for whom Yom HaZikaron has become much more personal. Let us keep them in our prayers today.
Staff Sergeant Shachar Shelo was the last soldier to be killed in Operation Protective Edge, and his father, Shimon Shelo, said, “I don’t know how this Yom HaZikaron is going to be.” He said that, “every year I attend as a security guard, volunteering with the police in the central event in Gamla, but this year I’m going to be there in a completely different capacity.”
His parents recalled that in the days before his death, Shachar was constantly in contact with his family. “We spoke to him many times, and he sent a message saying, ‘See you again. I love you.’” It was one of the last communications they received from their son, they told Walla [an Israeli news source].
Shachar’s father said that the loss of his son sharpened the perception he had that while for those who have not suffered such a loss, Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have fallen, but for those who have lost a loved one – it’s always Memorial Day. “It’s true that it’s not constantly influencing our lives every given moment – but it’s always in the background.”