Wednesday, May 07, 2008

10AM - Something is happening in the street!
We are just about to leave the apartment, and go out on the balcony. There are a zillion buses and cars, all of them stopped. As far as may be seen in both directions, traffic is not moving. Tons of people are running down the hill.

I call out, "Gershon, something is happening. Come and take a look."
[Gershon is the man from whom I am renting my room.]

Gershon comes out on my balcony.
"It's likely part of the Remembrance Day ceremonies being held at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery."

Joining the crowd!
Little Mavicito and I rush out of the apartment and go down the street. We are following the crowd. When we come to the intersection, we ask a policeman what is happening?

"The President of Israel is speaking at Har Herzl [Mount Herzl]. You can take the bus, it is free today."

All of the buses are going toward Mount Herzl, and we board one of them. Now that we are passed the intersection, the traffic is moving a little, but slowly.

11AM - A moment of silence.
Many sirens begin wailing. The bus stops. All the traffic in the street stops. Pedestrians stop walking. Everybody in the bus stands up, and bows their heads. I understand quickly that what I see happening around me, is happening all over Israel.

This is a Remembrance Day commemoration for the 1000s of Israelis who have died for their country. In defense of freedom. In defense of liberty.

11:30AM - Mount Herzl.
Traffic is almost not moving again. We get off the bus and begin walking up Mount Herzl.
Everybody going up Mount Herzl.

Entrance to the military
cemetery on Mount Herzl.

There is a great deal of security in view everywhere. Going into the Mount Herzl Cemetery entrance we are screened. My hands are wiped, both back and front and that wiping goes into detection apparatus. I am guessing to look for signs of explosive material.

The lines are huge. Then from somewhere inside Mount Herzl Cemetery comes the sound of singing. It is the National Anthem of Israel. "Hatikva" [The Hope]. Everybody around me is singing Hatikva [Link].

By the time I reach the place where the ceremony is held, everything is over. However, I am awe struck by this morning. Wow!

4PM - Buying things at Mahane Yuhuda Market.
Little Mavicito and I were riding randomly around on Egged buses. We stopped at a couple of museums which were closed, probably because of Remembrance Day.

So, we decided to go back to Mahane Yuhuda Market. A fascinating place for us!

Buying nuts.

Buying bread.

Buying olives.


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