This was first posted last night on the Times of Israel blog. We remember on Israel Remembrance Day.
I remember you, Koby. It was the Spring of 2001 when you were murdered while hiking through the wadi near your home. I remember you, Koby, and the day they were searching for you. I clutched my new baby, my first baby, to my chest and prayed that they would find you. Until they did. And then, soon after, when your father came to speak in Washington DC, I vowed to my husband through my never-ending tears that we would have as many children as we could have.
I remember you, Yosef. I was teaching your sisters and had only recently made Aliyah when you died during a training exercise; when you died while saving the life of your superior during the jump. I remember standing in the shul in Efrat with the thousands upon thousands of others and watching your sisters try to keep themselves together through their anguish.
I remember you, Segev. I awoke the morning after to a text message from the yishuv, from Neve Daniel, that I was sure I was reading incorrectly. It couldn’t be that such tragedy, that such horror had befallen my neighbors; such gentle, quiet souls. I called one of my neighbors, fluent in Hebrew, and knew that I was reading correctly when he couldn’t speak. When he only cried into the phone. I remember you.
I remember you Ruth, Udi, Yoav, Elad and Hadas. My baby was nuzzling at the breast at the same time that yours was that night, and my Bnei Akiva son was out having fun, as was your daughter. There are no words to describe what you endured, no words to make better what occurred. But as I awoke the next morning and you didn’t, I remembered you. And I will continue to remember you. All of you.
I remember you, Ezra. I was watching my son’s horseback riding lesson and another son was supposed to be at the Tzomet exactly when you were. But he wasn’t. And you were. And I remember watching the ambulances race along route 60, racing to save your already vanished young life. And I remember you, Yaacov, a man of such joy, of such love and faith. I remember you.
I remember you Dafna, as you fought for your life and used your last energy to keep your family safe. And you, Eliav, who share my son’s name. You aren’t here to see your newest son, born just recently to your wife in Karmei Tzur. But I will remember you.
I remember you Nidan, Adele, Shalom, Malachi, Alexander, Eitam, Naama, Aharon, Nehemia, Chaim, Alon, Yeshayahu, Omri, Habtom, Avraham, Rabbi Haim, Richard, Benjamin, Netanel, Yaakov, Reuven and Aharon.
I remember you.
I remember you Moshe, Yitzhak, Yossi, Eliyahu, Asher, Yonatan, Netanel, Maor, Said, Yitzchak, Amir, Elior, Kochava, Mustafa, Itzik, Mirah, Aharon, Gal, Tomer, Eden, Baruch, Shelly, Naftali, Gilad and Eyal.
I remember you.
And I will continue to remember you and preserve your name, to picture your face and to think of your accomplishments for as long as I am able.
Yesterday, by chance, my five year old asked me what tears are. Are there buckets behind your eyes holding those tears, Mommy? Do they ever dry up?
Indeed. Do they ever dry up? Does it ever stop?
Today, tomorrow there appears to be no end. And on so many days this is true.
I remember you. I really do.