From Siren to Siren

From Siren to Siren

The grief of the citizens of Ashkelon is even deeper than that of their countrymen this Israeli Memorial Day, for they lost loved ones to this past weekend’s terrorist rocket barrage from Gaza. The Times of Israel’s Jacob Magid tells us while all of Israel mourns those who have been killed, the pain of this southern Israeli town is fresh and poignant:

With the red alert sirens triggered by Gaza rocket fire over the weekend still fresh in their ears, bereaved families in Ashkelon slowly filed into the southern coastal city’s military cemetery Wednesday morning to visit the graves of their lost loved ones on Memorial Day.

The official ceremony would not start for two hours, so the grieving parents, siblings and children had some private time with their fallen relatives before the cemetery would fill with over a thousand members of the general public…

Just days earlier, two more people in the city had been added to the rolls of those killed in war or terror attacks. By Memorial Day, calm had returned to the city, the wisps of smoke in the sky from rockets and interceptors replaced by downy clouds, but anger over the deadly round of violence still bubbled…

One mother rushed to the grave of her son and collapsed on top of it, sobbing. This was Ilanit Mor Yosef’s first Memorial Day without her son Yovel, who was shot dead in a terror attack at the Givat Assaf Junction in the central West Bank last December.

She muttered a message to her late son, weeping, and stood up in time for her husband Mordechai to collapse on top of the grave in her place.

A group of half-a-dozen soldiers from Mor Yosef’s unit stood gravely at the side. For several minutes, they managed to keep their composure as they watched the parents of their fallen comrade bawl in front of the 20-year-old’s tomb. But then, the young man’s grandmother arrived and her cries of pain had each of them tearing up immediately.

“I miss you, I miss you, I miss you,” she repeated as she patted the grave and shook her head in disbelief.

The other bereaved families in the section looked on in sympathy at the newest members of their most unfortunate club…


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