This weekend we observe Memorial Day. This is a time that we are to remember the people who gave their lives in service to our country and defended our country so that we can live as a free nation. Memorial Day has become a time of sales and the start of the summer barbecue season. 

I wish we could adopt a moment like that in Israel during Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day. At 10:00 am, the sirens go off around the country and for two minutes, EVERYONE stops what they are doing and stands in silence taking a moment to remember. I understand that Israel is different in that everyone in the country knows someone or a family who has lost a loved one in defense of the country. Yet, what a powerful moment we could create if only we could do the same here in the United States; just two minutes, at the same time, to be in silence, as we remember and honor the defenders of our country.

Memorial Day also takes on another tone as well. There are still over 100 hostages in Gaza, many who we do not know if they are even alive. The families of the hostages are hoping we don’t forget about their loved ones. Just yesterday, a video was shared at the request of the families of five young women who were taken hostage. 

Seven female soldiers worked as lookouts on the border with Gaza at Nahal Oz. One was rescued early after October 7th and one was killed by Hamas. The other five women are still believed to be alive and 8 months later, still held by Hamas. 

Let us not forget about Liri Albag, Karina Ariev, Agam Berger, Daniella Gilboa, and Naama Levy, these five women along with those who are suffering because of the heinous actions of Hamas. And, please, take a moment and watch the video. The parents of these soldiers asked for it to be released so that the leaders in Israel and the people might wake up and do more to secure their release. 

There are still Americans being held by Hamas. The six hostages believed still to be alive and in captivity are Edan Alexander, Sagui Dekel-Chen, Omer Neutra, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, and Keith Siegel. Three Americans who have been killed by Hamas and their bodies still in Gaza are Itai Chen, Judy Weinstein, and Gad Haggai

Since October 7th, every moment seems different and sometimes a little darker. We find new meaning and understanding of our world. At some point, I hope we can awaken from this darkness toward light and peace. Until then, let us take at least two minutes on Memorial Day to remember all those who fought for our freedom and whose llives should not be forgotten.