Unfortunately it sometimes takes for people to be killed for us to realize who are the people living around us.
Anyone living here in Israel we are familiar with the public ritual that follows the death of civilians in a terrorist attack or of soldiers in battle. The news flashes on the radio, the number of injured that rises from report to report and then the number of the dead. A few hours later come the names “the following names of the killed have been permitted for publication…”. We hear the names, listening closely to hear if it is someone we know, someone who lives somewhere that we are familiar with, and then come the stories of who those people were.
Why does it always seem that the most special people get killed? The idealists, the people with such human qualities? I have two answers.
Firstly I do believe that this is proof if we need it, that everyone is special. There is no other explanation that a random sample of the victims of terror could otherwise be so selctive. Hidden among us are thousands and millions of good people, special people, people with ideals, aspirations, myriads of good deeds, thoughts and wishes. It’s just a shame that they need to be killed for us to notice.
But secondly I do think that among the soldiers, we do have selection here. The group of soldiers killed in battle is not a random sample of society. It is our best. These are the highest quality young men that we have. The intelligent, the idealistic, the selfless, the motivated. These are the young men who risk their lives for their families, friends and country. This is the tragedy of our life here, that we need to train our best men to be warriors and send them to pay with their lives for our existence.