Moving War Memorials
Perhaps as few other people groups, Israel’s very existence has necessitated the creation over and over again of war memorials. As soon as the Jewish people decide to live, some other group decides they should die. Case after case from history springs to the mind, from Pharaoh ordering Jewish babies to be thrown into the Nile, to Ancient Babylon and Queen Esther’s intercession, to Greek and Roman persecutions, to Islamic attacks, to the Nazi Holocaust, to Arab armies surrounding and launching offensives time and time again.
One of Israel’s most special war memorials, in my opinion, is the Monument to the Negev Brigade, or “Andartat Hativat HaNegev” in Hebrew. Built in the 1960s of raw concrete, the bold sculptures rise up out of the land. Shapes representing a guard tower and a water pipeline on a barren, windswept hillside say so much, so simply, about the business of war in a desert land.
It was built in honor of members of the Palmach Negev Brigade who fell fighting on Israel’s side in the 1948 Arab-Israel War. When standing inside one of the structures, one’s whispered voice may be heard echoing boldly.
May it be so of the voices of those who lay down their lives so others may live.
————-Tags: 1948 Arab-Israeli War memorial, Be'er Sheva monument, Beersheba memorial, desert battlefield, honoring soldiers, Israel's War Memorials, Monument to the Negev Brigade, whispered voices of warriors