23,169

A very specific number. Not rounded off like 6,000,000. Very exact. Changing. Doesn’t stay the same for very long. Never goes down. It’s the price of our independence, our survival. Some might say the price is pretty cheap. I guess it all depends on the currency in which you are forced to pay.

We don’t call our soldiers jarheads or grunts or any other dehumanizing name. How could we? Our soldiers are our sons and daughters, our husbands and wives, our fathers and mothers. If not ours, then someone else’s. It could have been ours. It might be ours next time around. This is the currency which we use to pay for our independence and survival. This is our glass jaw.

In this neck of the woods, it’s a mistake to show your weakness, your fear, your grief. I know that. Act as though you don’t give a damn. Act as if you’re ready to die. Act as though you’re already dead. Still, I wonder sometimes whether our enemies have sons and daughters whom they love, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. Do they grieve deaths like we do when we are alone and silent?

One thing we do that no other nation in the world does is put our Independence Day right after our Remembrance Day for the Fallen in War and Victims of Terror. I never quite understood how we expect our people to switch from insane sadness to insane happiness at the announcement “this marks the end of our ceremony and the beginning of our festivities.” I guess it is to teach us the price of our independence and survival.

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

 

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Filed under Essays, Dilemmas, & Philosophy, Prose

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