It was 10 am – still in my pj’s because I wasn’t feeling so well – and trying to get Mo to take a nap. The siren blares. Oh yeah, it would be that siren. The same one that warned us of incoming rockets last fall and not the siren that ushers in Shabbat that I can barely hear most weeks.
My first thought is about the boys at school and wishing I had warned them and told them about Yom HaShoah. I hoped that they weren’t feeling panicked and wondered what their rebbes were telling them. The siren continued to blare loudly from above our patio.
Like most Americans, I usually have a hard time connecting to civil memorial days. I dutifully try to read an article in the paper about Memorial Day to remind me what the day is about. Otherwise I join the rest the country by focusing on barbecues and parades. I like the parades. I enjoy watching the soldiers marching and I can even feel a certain solemnity when I see them.
As the siren continued to blare, I realized this was different. This siren and all the cars stopped on the road right now had something to do with me. I was connected to them because we were all mourning our families. Our bubbes and zeides, great aunts and great uncles, cousins we would never know. This was my family’s story too.
The siren stops and I rock Mo to sleep. I need to get dressed and do more laundry. Life moves on as it must. While nothing dramatic has happened another brush stroke has been added to my connection to this crazy place.