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19 April 2012 (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

April 19, 2012

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. At 10:00 in the morning a siren went off, and we all stopped what we were doing at work and stood still for two minutes.

The piercing sound of the siren and what it symbolizes, as well as my personal memories that were called back by it, made two minutes feel like a very long, excruciating time. When the siren stopped I felt myself a bit emotional from it all, but was relieved when I saw my co-workers go right back to the conversation they were having before.

This reminded me of something a woman from the Hiroshima Film Commission who I had the pleasure of working with a few years ago (to this day I still have not met a person who is as passionate about their work as she was) told me. While in most parts of Japan, on August 6th, the anniversary of when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, only NHK (the national public broadcaster) plays the memorial service live. But the woman told me that in Hiroshima, all television channels broadcast the memorial live.

In Israel the siren rings throughout the country and on all radio stations. I sincerely wondered how the situation was out on the roads, on highways and busy city streets, but people stop and get out of their cars, apparently: (scroll down past the Japanese)

本日はホロコースト記念日。
朝10時にサイレンが鳴り、職場では全員作業をやめ、2分間立ち止まりました。

鋭い音のサイレンとそれが象徴するもの、そして音と共によみがえった様々な思い出によって
私にとってはとても長く感じた、感情的な2分間でした。
サイレンが鳴り終わると、鳴る前の会話にすぐ戻った仕事仲間の姿をみて感情が和らぎました。

このことから、数年前一緒にお仕事をさせていただいた広島フィルム・コミッションの方が
おっしゃっていたことを思い出しました。
(ちなみにこの方ほど仕事に対して情熱を持っている人は未だに会ったことがありません)
東京も含め日本の大半では、8月6日の広島平和記念式典はNHKでしか生中継されませんが、
広島では全てのテレビ局が生中継するとのこと。

イスラエルでは本日のサイレンは全国に鳴り渡り、全てのラジオ局でも放送されました。
純粋に疑問に思ったのは、運転している人はどうするのだろう?ということ。
特に都心の大通りや高速道路などで運転している人は?
どうやら車に乗っている人でさえ運転を止め、車から出て立ち止まるそうです:

Photo by Tomer Appelbaum on Haaretz.com

The siren rings again next Wednesday at 11am.

来週の水曜日の朝11時に再びサイレンが鳴ります。

Much love,
Kaori

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2012 6:42 pm

    You should look up some videos on youtube, there are some really well filmed ones of Tel Aviv Highways. It is such a strong visual to see people get out of their cars and stand on the roads. A very strong event to see, as I have never seen anything like it before today (and last year’s event).

    • April 20, 2012 3:08 pm

      I certainly will.
      On paper it sounds almost impossible but I’ve been in Israel long enough to totally believe that the whole country (even on highways) will stop for these two minutes.

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  1. Holocaust Remembrance Day Eve | Meuleh! מעולה | Meuleh | メウレ

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