Writes Judy Lash Balint to her Jerusalem Diaries Yahoo Group:
“For the Ethiopian community, Jerusalem Day has evolved into a memorial day. Thousands of Ethiopian Jews who trekked through Sudan and the Ethiopian countryside to take part in Operations Solomon (1991) and Moses (1984) died before they saw Jerusalem. Their relatives mark the day with prayer and ceremonies in the Holy City.
“The festivities and commemorations continue all day with the flag parade culminating in a swirl of dancing and celebrating at the Kotel; the official memorial ceremony at Ammunition Hill for the fallen soldiers who helped liberate Jerusalem; the Mayor’s annual open house reception at the Tower of David and the awarding of the prestigious Yakiray Yerushalayim prizes to Jerusalemites who have made a special contribution to the city.
“For one day, at least, we ignore the security concerns and political realities (even though it’s hard to swallow the fact that not a single country in the world maintains an embassy in Israel’s capital and that EU and U.S. officials never attend Jerusalem Day observances) and we focus on the miracle that restored the Jewish people to the city that King David declared as his capital so many thousands of years ago.”