Bereaved families call to move Remembrance Day

Families of fallen soldiers say the proximity of the day of mourning to Independence Day makes celebration difficult.

Soldiers lay flags on Graves on Remembrance Day 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Soldiers lay flags on Graves on Remembrance Day 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Bereaved families over the weekend called on the state of Israel to heed an ongoing campaign to bring forward the date of Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars and Terror Victims, saying the transition to Independence Day the next day is too jarring.
Remembrance Day was set to take place on Monday, April 15, followed by Independence Day on Tuesday, April 16. Monday evening is considered Independence Day eve, and marks the beginning of celebrations of Israel's day of formation. Cities all over the country greet the celebratory day the night before with fireworks and performances by famous Israeli entertainers.
"Bereaved families want to celebrate on the eve of Independence Day as well, but the proximity to Remembrance Day prevents us from letting go of the day's feelings [of mourning] and celebrating with the rest of the people of Israel," said Shmuel Tamir-Shurki, who lost his son, IAF pilot Lt. David Tamir.
Tamir-Shurki and attorney Yossef Tamir posted a petition online calling on the State of Israel to mark Remembrance Day a day earlier, on Sunday, April 14, and thus create a gap between the day of mourning and the day of celebration. Nearly 5,000 people had signed the petition by Saturday.
"Remembrance Day may be the hardest day of the year for tens of thousands of families in Israel. This is a day in which the entire country joins in mourning and remembrance of the people closest to them [the bereaved families]," Tamir-Shurki said.
"The bereaved families go through an upheaval and enormous pain. Beyond the enormous mental pain, there is a physical effort, of running around from cemeteries to monuments and to different remembrance events. When the day is over, each bereaved person wants to lay their head down and rest. Instead, on their way home from the cemetery, they encounter roads blocked for Independence Day celebrations," he added. 
"A minute after their terrible day of mourning ends, everyone except for them moves to Independence celebrations all over the country, which is unbearable, and a continuous injustice to thousands of families in Israel," he bemoaned.
Tamir-Shurki added that the proximity of the end of Remembrance Day to Independence Day shows disrespect to the bereaved families and their fallen loved ones.
"The very people who paid the ultimate price (except for the fallen soldiers), are the ones who can't participate and find themselves on the outside of the national celebration," he said.
The petitioners have taken their cause to social networks and created internet memes - graphics that represent a basic idea that can be transferred and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation - to describe their situation.
In one such graphic, a comic frame of Batman slapping his sidekick Robin appears. Over and under the image, a caption reads: "Returning to school from Purim and crying about it?! Think how bereaved families feel on the eve of Independence Day!"
Another such graphic shows a photo of a panda bear surrounded by birthday decorations, with a caption that reads: "Remembrance Day is over, now celebrate!"
A third graphic shows an SMS message from one person to his friend dated April 15, 2013 at 11:36 a.m., Remembrance Day. The first person inquires of the plans for the evening Independence Day celebrations, while the second replies he is in the middle of a Remembrance Day ceremony at the army base of his fallen brother.