April 3, 2024: Kira Finkenberg

Today was a very emotional day, one I knew from the moment I saw the itinerary would be hard. We were meeting with Lishay Miran, wife of Omri Miran who is still, 180 days later, held in captivity in Gaza. Lishay herself and her children were in the hands of Hamas for hours on October 7. We were also visiting the Sedrot Police Station grounds, which was a battleground on Black Sabbath and the building has since been demolished. But the next stop was the one I knew was going to be extremely hard for me…

We headed to Reim, the site of the Nova Music Festival. For those that don’t know me, I work in the live entertainment/music industry and going to concerts and festivals is what I do for a living. Since day one of this awful tragedy, the killings of innocent victims who were enjoying life, spreading peace, and listening to music at Nova has hit me the hardest. It has been so hard for me to know this happened while most of the music industry, with the exception of a small few, has stayed silent on this situation.

As we approached the festival grounds, a wave of apprehension engulfed me, tears welling as we entered the forest where the stage once stood. Stepping off the bus, walking toward the memorial, the world seemed to hush around me. My thoughts went to the early morning of October 7, and I could only envision thousands of people dancing, enjoying life and listening to music – one of life’s simple pleasures that brings so many people joy. I slowly wandered through the 350+ memorials set up, one for each victim. I looked at each of their pictures, their names and their ages as tears fell for every soul and their names etched in my heart. Venturing deeper into the woods, I sought to commune with their spirits, feeling as though I were among them, sharing in their joy. It struck me that had I been a resident of Israel, I might have stood among the victims that tragic day.

As I walked back toward the memorial site, I encountered another group singing Hatikvah. It stopped me in my tracks, and I just listened to them singing and thought of the beautiful, innocent souls who had hope on October 7, but are no longer with us. It was a moment I will never forget.

I have to work a festival later this year. I was talking to some people in our group about this and thinking how hard it will be. Everyone reminded me to think about the 350+ faces I saw on posters today, remember them, tell their stories, and enjoy the music in their memory and honor. Thank you to those on the trip who were there for me during this experience, who hugged and held me tight in my moment of weakness. I promise, I will never forget them.

We Will Dance Again.


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