TIMES OF ISRAEL
by Matt Lebovic
May 23, 2014
Proposed legislation passes House of Representatives, a result of siblings’ four-year quest to honor US fallen as Israel does its own
BOSTON – After many years of family trips to the Jewish state, the Bendetson brothers of Massachusetts had an epiphany during a 2010 stay in Tel Aviv.
For the first time, the siblings experienced Israeli Memorial Day’s two-minute Yom Hazikaron air raid siren in commemoration of the nation’s fallen soldiers. The brothers and their father watched in awe as cars pulled over and people stopped in their tracks to hear the siren and remember those lost in war.
“Dad, why can’t we do this in our country?” asked Daniel Bendetson, now a junior at the University of Michigan.
The rest of the story is not just history, but a hard-earned amendment to the annual defense authorization bill passed by the US House of Representatives on Thursday.
The so-called “Moment of Silence Act” calls for a two-minute observance to occur each Veterans Day. In addition to remembering the nation’s fallen soldiers, more than 22 million American veterans would also be acknowledged.
Unknown to most Americans, an old federal code provides for a “Moment of Remembrance” at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. In part because the moment takes place at a different time in each US time zone, the provision is largely ignored.
To counter the challenge of American’s vastness, the brothers called for the Veterans Day “moment” to occur across all US time zones simultaneously, from 3:11 p.m. in Puerto Rico and westward to Hawaii, where the ritual would take place at 9:11 a.m. Whether or not air raid sirens will accompany the moment remains unclear, said Daniel Bendetson.