(Read Part 1 first.)
Seeing these people marching through downtown Jerusalem made me think of the lyrics to a Grateful Dead song: "What a long, strange trip it's been!" (What can I do? These kind of things still pop into my mind once in a while!) But could the "Deadheads" even fathom what these people went through? Imagine being a Jew in the Soviet Union, where Zionism and Judaism were against the law. Imagine losing family and friends in the war and in the Nazi acts of genocide. Imagine taking an active part in that bloody war in order to save the Soviet Union and the rest of humanity from the Nazi monster. Imagine after the war residing in the world's largest prison, i.e. the Soviet Union, where even one's children were encouraged by their teachers in school to turn their parents in to the authorities. After all this, these people lived to see the Soviet Union crumble, and to immigrate to the State of Israel. Not only that, they merited to walk proudly down the streets of Jerusalem as Jews, adorned with the war decorations that they acquired in their youth, in a long ago and far away world.
Indeed, what a long, strange trip it has been for these people.