A friend on Facebook wrote the following:

On this Yom HaShoah, when we remember the 6 million Jews murdered by Hitler, it is fitting that we also remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in the fight against terrorism. Osama is dead!

I remember many things related to both events.  And although both events hold places and people near and dear to my heart, today is Yom Hashoah and this is my story.

On this day, Yom Hashoah, thirteen years ago, I and several thousand Jewish teenagers from around the world walked arm in arm for three kilometers as we marched from Auschwitz to Birkenau.  A sea of blue jackets in front and behind reminded us that they will never be forgotten.  We will always remember.

I was a part of the March of the Living.

Over the course of two weeks I and my fellow travelers would travel from Poland to Israel celebrating Yom Hashoah, Yom Ha’Atzmaut, and Yom HaZikaron. We would cry harder than many of us have cried before and laugh and smile harder than we ever will.  It was a roller coaster of emotions and the thrill ride of our lives.  We would experience history as if we were apart of it and come out better for having done so.

We traveled through the Warsaw Ghetto and stepped on the same spots as our ancestors just prior to deportation.  We held our tekkes at Treblinka, walked through the barracks and gas chambers at Majdanek, and sang Nigunim at Tykocin.  We listened as survivors told their stories, all while walking us through the places where they saw their families for the last time.

Just after visiting Auschwitz we traveled several hours by bus and hopped on a plane to Israel.  I don’t know of many people that DIDN’T kiss the ground when we arrived.  We prayed at the Kotel, went for a Jeep ride in the Golan Heights, prayed at Yad Vashem and sprayed silly string  as we ran down the streets of Jerusalem on Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

It was amazing to say the least and pictures, stories and nigun that will forever stay in my mind.


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