April 25th at 10am a siren screams into the sky. Peter and I are walking to the Kotel (western wall). We are steps away from the entrance of the wall, when the siren cuts through air. For two minutes we stand silent and still as the siren cries out in remembrance of the six million Jewish men, women and children that were murdered during the Holocaust.
For two minutes, we stand in solidarity with every other Israeli to remember and never forget that their country was born out of the ashes of the Holocaust. Just three years after the end of WWII, just three years after the end of six million lives, just three years after the end of their slavery from a Nazi Pharaoh, a child of promise was born Israel.
For two minutes we stand with the six million people who now reside in Israel; the six million who live remember the six million who died.
For a moment I gaze down at the smoothed white stone under my feet. I think I have no idea what this moment truly means, and I am uncomfortable. I look up and see around me a crowd of motionless people. Individuals stop, step out of buildings, traffic stops, drivers step out of their cars, all transactions stop. For two minutes Israelis rest from moving, doing, going, walking, eating, talking; silence is required. Silence is truly the most appropriate response.
For two minutes an entire nation is still. One hundred and twenty seconds of memory for the six millions lives that ended, just sixty years ago.