On April 16, Abir Gitlin, the University of Miami CAMERA Fellow, hosted an event commemorating Yom HaZikaron- Israeli Memorial Day titled “Reflections from the Battlefield.” Abir noted, “For the first time in thousands of years, the people of Israel have an army that fights for the security of free Jews in their historical homeland . . .It is hard to find an Israeli for whom this day [Yom HaZikaron] is not personal. Almost all Israelis have a particular person, or a number of people, whom they remember on Israel’s Day of Remembrance.”
Yom HaZikaron commemorates the 23,085 people who have lost their lives defending the State of Israel since 1860, the date when Jews were first permitted to live outside the city walls of Jerusalem.
Abir and two of his peers, all Israeli reservists, presented their own personal stories to 35 UM students, and then spent 20 minutes answering questions. Abir reported that every single attendee of this event approached the three speakers afterward to thank them for sharing their personal stories.
At the end of the event, one student stated “had I not attended this event today, it would have been just a normal Monday. Thanks to this event, this day is now going to be a day I mark in my calendar every year.”