This letter, sent in recent days, was circulated through the US Federation system.
Today is a very sad day in Israel. Over 27 funerals are taking place today. Funerals of the brave members of the Prisons Service. While on their way to help evacuate prisoners and guards from prisons in the Carmel Mountains, their bus was tragically engulfed in flames. To date, 41 persons were killed, and some are stll fighting for their lives.
The situation is truly tragic. This morning I attended one of the funerals, at Mt Herzl in Jerusalem. I found out yesterday that one of my neighbors had a brother who was on that damn bus. We live in a small country 7 million people; in an even smaller town of 12,000 . Somehow, there is always someone that you know who is connected to a tragedy. Yet, while attending the funeral, I realized something . The funeral took place in the Military Cemetery on Mt Herzl. The funeral was conducted by the Rabbis and Cantors of the Armed Forces, and the Police. Everyone in their Full Dress Uniforms, alongside the family and thousands who came to pay their last respects.
As a matter of fact, all the funerals will be taking place in military cemeteries all over the country. Instead of each family having to plan and prepare their own funeral, and mourn on their own, the State Of Israel stepped in. The Govt of Israel declared that all those who died in this terrible fire, will be declared as if they died as if in a battle. The State realized that these were true “service men and women”, who died in service of the country, and it’s citizens.
Aside from the Military Funeral, this means that these families will now become part of those who lost loved ones in battle. They will be able to avail themselves of all the social help that this designation brings. The families will now be embraced by the country, and the various services and help that is offered. As tragic as this fire is, I’m glad that I live in a country which takes care of the families who serve.
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