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April 24, 2023 8:18 am

Memorial to Independence Day: How Does Israel Move from Mourning to Joy?

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avatar by i24 News

An Israeli flag waves as Israeli Air Force planes fly in formation over the Mediterranean Sea during an aerial show on Israel’s 74th Independence Day on May 5, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen

i24 News – This Monday evening, Memorial Day begins in Israel, in memory of the fallen soldiers and the victims of terrorism. Just 24 hours later, on Tuesday evening, the country will celebrate with great fanfare the 75th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel with, among other things, thousands of celebrations, fireworks and scenes of jubilation.

An abrupt and highly symbolic passage from mourning to joy, without transition, in an almost automatic way.

i24NEWS interviewed Dr. Michaël Larrar, a psychiatrist and author of the book “The Secrets of our Unconscious,” to try to understand how the mind can, in such a short time, adapt and fully experience these diametrically opposite emotions.

“We must clearly distinguish between personal mourning and the mourning of a nation, they are not at all the same elements of temporality. Personal mourning is something that will touch us in the intimate, and the time of this mourning is several months, usually a year. The mourning of a nation is much more symbolic, to evoke the memory of the people who sacrificed for a country,” Dr. Larrar told i24NEWS.

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“This association between Memorial Day and Independence Day is singular and interesting, it reminds us that just before celebrating the independence of a living country, we must never forget the people who gave their lives for it, it is a symbolic message of remembrance. Otherwise, of course, we cannot be in deep and sincere mourning and celebrate the same evening. We are clearly in the register of the symbol and not of reality,” he continued.

According to him, “The celebration of Independence Day is all the more powerful because it is linked immediately and chronologically to Memorial Day, it gives deep meaning to the celebration. It is also a holiday of thanks for those who have sacrificed themselves, and it shows the importance of national unity. The link between Memorial Day and Independence Day is very special and thus gives a certain depth to the Independence Day.”

Tonight, the Israeli nation will remember the 24,213 soldiers killed in the war since 1860 and the 4,255 people murdered in attacks. Ceremonies will be organized throughout the country in their memory and a siren will sound to mark a minute of silence.

In 2022, 28 Israeli citizens lost their lives in terrorist attacks, compared to 23 in 2021. Since the beginning of 2023, 19 people have been killed in terrorist attacks, a heavy toll while the country is experiencing a wave of attacks and particularly heightened tensions.

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