I'll admit it, there are a lot of things I dont love about living in Israel... but the holidays arent one of them. Israelis manage to experience and express their feelings about life in ways that I only dream of. In the states memorial day is celebrated by sales, July 4th with picnics. They have no connection to each other, and although you often see red, white and blue table cloths, not many families hang actual flags outside their house. the only time i remember real patriotism was in the months after 9-11, and even that faded fast.
Israel is a completely different story. Today is memorial day, and every tv station is either turned "off" or playing memorial documentaries on those who have lost their lives to terror or in the line of duty. The stories are heart wrenching, and I cried more than once. Here memorial day (or veterans day) is not just an image of a lone WWII soldier crying at a ceremony... its a living memorial to those who we loose every year.
In complete contrast, Independence Day starts tonight. The Israeli flags have been flying for at least a week, from every car, house and public building. Even the freeway, on which I make my daily commute, is lined with flags. Free flags came with the weekend newspaper, and a coworker offered me her extra flags when she noticed I didnt have any on my car. Our city is hosting a major party, with a well known singer and comedians, and tomorrow we will have close to 80 people celebrating with us in the park- BBQing the israeli way. It is my first Independence Day as an Israeli citizen, and I feel honored to be a part of it. I am proud of my dual citizenship, even with the dfficulties i sometimes face.