2002 to the Present
Yesterday morning I went back in time to the Summer of 2002. I spent that summer volunteering through the Jewish Agency for Magen David Adom as a volunteer medic (choveshet). I met some incredible people and had amazing experiences. For those of us who have short term memories… the year of 2002 had been one filled of bombings, fear, death and a general feeling of total helplessness. I decided to get off my American ass and do something productive in Israel for the summer. I trained for ten days.. followed by another course a few weeks later for multiple casualty events such as bombings, building collapses, etc. That summer riding on the ambulances from the Bat Yam station was the best summer I have had to date in my 27 years.
Yesterday I accompanied my roommate (who works for the Head of Trauma at Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem) to Teddy Stadium for a mock simulation of a bombing. In order to keep the medics, doctors, police, special forces, bomb squads, etc all on tip top shape for the chance that G-d forbid they would need to put those skills to the test.
The minute the sound of the first smoke canister popped I jumped right back to that summer of 2002. The anticipation of all the beepers going off at once (which meant a bombing had taken place and we all needed to be ready to jump on an ambulance and save lives.
I teared up… subconsciously remembering a time in which leaving your house was dangerous and saying “I love you” as someone walked out the door knowing that it might be the last time you got a chance to say those words to love ones.
That period in time was horrible and put our country and nation to the test. But walking down the streets of Jerusalem you could completely forget about that time in history except for the plaques located at the scene of a bombing.
Now fast forward to 2007 standing around watching the mock bombing taking place and Thanking G-d for turning Jerusalem back into a glorious city where the Cafe’s are packed, the bars are spilling over and the buses are being used.