Most people understand the commitment, honor, courage, and dedication involved when a man or woman enlists into the military to serve the nation’s values and beliefs. Many people, in fact, have stood at the bus stations with tears in our eyes from a mixture of pride, sorrow, fear, love, and understanding and watched our love ones depart on the noble mission of protecting the lives of the innocent. Sadly enough, many more of us have stood at the funerals listening to echoes of the guns firing as our loved ones are placed in the ground because he or she chose to stand the lines to save our brethren. Now close your eyes and imagine for a brief moment the horror of watching from a distance as a person from the city your loved one served held out his hands to visitors around the world for payment to visit your loved one’s gravesite. Imagine the government filling their greedy pockets from tourists visiting your loved one’s grave not out of respect and appreciation for the life that he or she gave but because of fascination and an ignorant coincidence. Imagine no more because the nightmare has become reality in the small town of Ramla, Israel.
Recently, the Washington Post and other major news media sources including Google, Yahoo, and the Star Tribune released reports of a real Harry Potter gravestone located in the town of Ramla. According to the Washington Post because of the coincidence involving the name of the soldier buried in the town tourists from around the world have been flocking to the grave to see the “real” Harry Potter (Goldenburg, 2010). Disgustingly, the tourists are not there to see a soldier out of respect for the life he gave for his country but because of the name coincidence with the famous Harry Potter character the town of Ramla is making profits off the soldier’s gravesite. In fact, according to the Washington Post Ron Peled, a tour guide from the military cemetery was quoted as saying “There is no connection with the Harry Potter we know from literature, but the name sells, the name is marketable” (Goldenburg, 2010).
Sadly, the real Harry Potter buried at the military cemetery in Ramla joined the British military in 1938 and served King George proudly at the young age of 17 (Goldenburg, 2010). The proud son of a military veteran that served in the First World War, Harry Potter fought as part of the Worcestershire’s Motor Transport division in September 1938 (Worcestershire Regiment, n.d.). Shortly after writing a letter home to his mother on July 22, 1939 Private Harry Potter was killed during engagement on an armed band on the Hebron-Beersheba road (Worcestershire Regiment, n.d.). At the young age of only 18 years-old Private Harry Potter died serving his country in the British military.
An honorable and courageous young man enlisted in the British military to follow his proud father’s footsteps and lost his life serving his country. Shamefully, instead of honoring his memory for the life that Private Harry Potter gave to the British military the town of Ramla is busy filling their pockets from his death. In fact, one man from Tel Aviv admits “If you didn’t say that Harry Potter was buried here, no one would come here” (Goldenburg, 2010). Since tourists have found the “real” Harry Potter grave the municipality has widened access to the grave and built a parking lot for the tourists that in turn pay not to show respect to the brave Harry Potter but to view a grave based on a movie character. The actions of the municipality, the military cemetery, and the tourists has placed shame on Private Harry Potter’s memory and shame on the Israeli nation for running a brave soldier’s memory in the mud for the sake of profit. Tourists should immediately be banned from visiting the gravesite, all profits made to this point should be donated to Private Harry Potter’s living relatives or to a veterans fund for those who have served the military, and the municipality should be punished for their ignorant indifference of a man who lost his life serving his nation.
Goldenburg, T. (2010, November 16). Harry Potter’s grave draws tourists to Israel town. The Associated Press. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from
Worcestershire Regiment. (n.d.). Private Harry Potter. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/potter_palestine1939content/article/2010/11/16/AR2010111602804.html