[This post was prompted by comments over at Shiloh Musings
There has been a lot of debate in Israel lately about whether to keep "soldier's memorial day" back-to-back with Independence Day (preceding it) or not. Here are my thoughts on this:
1) I do not think that we should combine, as some have suggested, Memorial Day with holocaust remembrance day. They are two entirely different things! [This is one reason I am appalled by how politicians try to cash in on holocaust remembrance day with plans for Israel today. Holocaust day should be reserved for mourning what we have lost.]
2) If we remove soldier's remembrance memorial day to a whole week before Independence day, it will lose a lot of its significance and impact. The limitation that we cannot start independence celebrations till nightfall after the memorial day is a stark reminder that this independence came at a very heavy price.
3) I dare say that for families who have lost a family member, they will carry it forward into the holiday in any case.
4) What could be done is to make the last few hours of the memorial day more neutral. Ceremonies should be in the morning, and up to 2 or 3. Radio and TV should after those hours have programs which are not holiday, but with less emphasis on mourning. Shops should remain closed.