Today was a heavy day. It was amazing but eye-opening in so many ways. We started the day watching a video about the Holocaust and how important our generation is in making sure we never forget what happened. After our activity we headed to Mount Herzl which is where previous Prime Ministers and IDF soldiers who lost their lives during their service are buried. Seeing the cemetery and hearing the stories about all the soldiers was absolutely eye-opening. Being so personally distant from the events makes it easy to forget how painful these losses are for everyone in Israel and how each loss is not only felt by the family but by the whole country. All of the soldiers we’ve had the honor of getting to know have dealt with close personal loss and each told a story that was personal to them while there. Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Israel, was even more powerful. I spend so much time hearing and reading about different facts, statistics and stories relating to the Holocaust, but seeing more tangible connections, like the Nazi flags, really makes it all feel so much more real. Walking into a room and seeing a real tangible Nazi flag rather than just in a book of online is indescribable. It makes me feel personally connected to the tragedy, which was incredibly powerful and a memory I will have forever.
- Kyle Weisbaum