Great people walk amongst us every day, so common, so ordinary, that they’re usually taken for granted and rarely thanked. Who notices when we pass a nurse, a storekeeper or a guard in the entrance to a supermarket?
I would like to thank these everyday heroes: The men and women of the army and security services that protect us. The citizens who have tackled armed terrorists with their bare hands without a thought for their own safety. All the people who have stepped closer to suicide bombers to shield others from the explosions. The doctors, nurses and paramedics who see the dead and the wounded again and again while working tirelessly to save lives. The amazing Zaka volunteers who come after every attack to clean up the pieces.
Every person who, just to fulfill their daily routine, has to pass places where people they loved were murdered – shopkeepers who go to work, children whose parents or relatives were murdered in their own home, people who live their regular lives in places where bombs fell, bullets flew and terrorists exploded. The children whose clear thinking saved their younger brothers and sisters are heroes. The mothers and fathers who raise their children in happiness and joy, knowing that when they are eighteen, they will have to go to the army and possibly to war and horror. The children who grow up with the news of dead soldiers, bereaved parents and memories of the funerals they attended and still are full of motivation to work hard, serve the country and protect us all.
Sometimes going to a club, café or party is an act of heroic defiance. The people who refuse to be cowed by terrorism and insist on living their lives to the fullest. The people who rather than being consumed by hate and trauma strive to make the world a better place, full of compassion, even for our would-be murderers –
All of you are the source of my strength and hope.
In Israel we live under the shadow of death, of current and remembered horrors. Suicide bombing must be one of the most evil things invented by man. Turning kites and balloons, children’s toys, into weapons of destruction and terror is a diabolical level of creativity. Again, and again we are surprised by the depths of depravity but, BUT we must remember that the other side of greatest evil is greatest good.
We see this awe inspiring good in our everyday heroes. These courageous, stubborn, compassionate, good people are OUR people, the Maccabees of today, the heroes of tomorrow.
Most people don’t recognize the heroism of the everyday Israeli. Maybe it’s because we don’t make a big deal out of it. After all, what choice do we have? Lay down and die? Be miserable? But the thing is that this is a big deal. And for that I say: Thank you. All of you.
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