Friday, August 11, 2006

Time to mourn

Last week, I attended my first military funeral in Israel.

This week, I attended my second.

The first was in Jerusalem, the second in Tel Aviv. The first family was religious, the second was secular.

The first was for a young soldier in his regular, mandatory army service, barely out of school. I know his father.

The second was for a man my age, an officer in the reserves called up for this war, a father of young children. He was a colleague of mine at work.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than hearing a father say Kaddish for his son.

Except hearing a young wife and mother who faces raising her kids without their father.

There is no war without casualties. Still, Israel's wars have a way of cutting down too many of our best and brightest young men.

There will be other opportunities to discuss the management of this campaign, including the errors made by our political and military leaders. There will be plenty of time to assess its outcome and debate its ramifications.

First of all, we must not forget to take the time to mourn.

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