My father, Marvin Lipco, fought with Patton’s army on D-day and marched into WWII as a gunner. He survived the Battle of the Bulge to liberate Birkenau concentration camp. Dad never spoke of his wartime trauma and it wasn’t until after his death that I learned of his service and subsequent PTSD and inability to share what he saw. Today, few survivors are still speaking about what they experienced. And yet those who are still able, tell their tale with dignity and grace, honoring those who were lost. We honor them, we remember and we pledge never to forget!
This month we mourn those who died at the hands of oppressors and those who fought to establish the land of Israel, a place of deep meaning and rebirth for the Jewish people. Even as I continue to feel the pain of hate and intolerance in our own country in recent days, I am not afraid. I know that if my father and others like him were able to risk their lives to right the wrongs of the world, so can I.
I’ll be heading to the Holy Land later this month and I hope you’ll follow my travels through the hills and valleys, sacred places and celebrated ancient wonders of history. I’m excited to return to my roots and visit family, friends and familiar haunts where much of my joy and Jewish identity was fanned into flame. I’d like to think that my father’s service and sacrifice helped make that dream a reality.
May all of our flames be held in sacred memory for those who gave their lives to make ours better and may we cherish the freedoms and work for the day when everyone who calls this country their home will be at peace.
On that day, the world shall be One.