MEMORIAL DAY.Monday 05.05.2014, Israel and all Jews over the world, REMEMBERS the 23,169 Fallen Soldiers since 1860. This Sunday 04.05.2014, the one-minute siren sounded all over the country at 8:00 p.m. (20:00 h.) marked the beginning of MEMORIAL DAY. Immediately after the siren, the memory ceremonies began. Monday at 11:00 a.m., a two-minute siren will sound, followed by more memorial ceremonies across the country. A poem that is often recited at the ceremonies is `The Silver Platter` (“Magash Hakesef”), written by Natan Alterman in 1947, following a statement by Israel’s would-be first president, that the state would not be handed to the Jews on a silver platter. The following is a translated version of the poem.
The Silver Platter
The Earth grows still. The lurid sky slowly pales
Over smoking borders.
Heartsick, but still living, a people stand by
To greet the uniqueness Of the miracle.
Readied, they wait beneath the moon.
Wrapped in awesome joy, before the light.
Then, soon, a girl and boy step forward,
And slowly walk before the waiting nation.
In work garb and heavy-shod
They climb in stillness.
Wearing yet the dress of battle, the grime
Of aching day and fire-filled night
Unwashed, weary unto death, not knowing rest,
But wearing youth like dewdrops in their hair.
Silently the two approach and stand.
Are they of the quick or of the dead?
Through wondering tears, the people stare.
“Who are you, the silent two?”
And they reply: “We are the silver platter
Upon which the Jewish State was served to you.”
And speaking, fall in shadow at the nation’s feet.
Let the rest in Israel’s chronicles be told.