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On Memorial Day, I stand for Tomer

For the past few years, I’ve been debating within my head the whole standing during the sirens issue. Both on Holocaust Memorial Day, and today for fallen soldiers.

Something about the rituals on both days bother me, and at times it gives me the creeps in a “big brother” kind of way. The way a state can make so many citizens stand still for two minutes seems like a bit too much control for my liking. I guess that’s one of the reasons (among many) I decided to attend the alternative Combatants for Peace Memorial Day ceremony last night.

Yet, despite all this, I always stand. I’ve decided that no matter what, I will stand for a high school friend, Tomer Guterman.

Tomer and I were never really close. He was a close friend of some close friends. As such, we still met quite often, even after high school as we all began going our separate ways.

Tomer’s way was in the air force. He was a combat chopper pilot. He died in a routine training flight on March 3, 2003. He was 30, married, and never saw the little girl growing in his wife’s belly. Naama used the letters of Tomer’s name when naming their daughter, and called her Rotem.

I remember Tomer as a funny guy. Someone who smiled a lot. Someone extremely opinionated (who would probably hate +972 with a passion). Someone who was witty. And great at soccer. Someone I just honestly liked to be around.

So, I’m putting all my politics aside. I stand for Tomer. May he rest in peace.

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    1. “putting all my politics aside. I stand for Tomer. May he rest in peace.”

      The only forward I know of.

      Reply to Comment
    2. XYZ

      Are you saying you are ONLY standing for Tomer because you knew him personally, but you don’t feel any need to show respect for the others who died so that we can live? I hope I have misunderstood you.

      Reply to Comment
      • You see a bridge meeting half way–and destroy it in righteousness.

        Reply to Comment
    3. berl

      XYZ, I think you have misunderstood, as quite often happens on this site.

      Reply to Comment
    4. rsgengland

      The people of Israel that I know stand when the sirens wail, as an expression of solidarity with their fellow citizens.
      There is no coercion by the state, as witnessed by the fact that all the Arabs I have seen remain seated and/or stay in their cars.
      Numerous of the Black Hatted daty actively and provocatively walk around and dance during the memorial as well.

      Reply to Comment