Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the Remembrance Day ceremony for fallen soldiers at Jerusalem's Mt. Herzl military cemetery on Wednesday, saying that Israel's celebration of Independence Day that is set to begin on Wednesday evening, comes thanks to Israel's soldiers who have sacrificed their lives.
Netanyahu said that the grief of losing a loved one to war was incomparable, telling his own story of how he had heard of his brother Yoni's death while he was a student in Boston in 1976. Netanyahu said that he then had to deliver the news to his parents, and it was as if his brother had died twice.
"Everyone who gets this bad new remembers it their whole life, me as well. How can you part from a child? How can you part from a brother?" Netanyahu asked. "As long as I breathe, I will remember the cries of my father and mother," he said.
"Those who have gone through this know that no single moment can equal the shock , pain and torment...the wound never truly heals," he said.
Netanyahu said that he thinks of this pain and what it means to lose a family member every time he makes the decision to send soldiers into war.
He added, however, that sometimes their is no choice, and soldiers must fight to ensure the continued existence of Israel.
"Only this determination can prevent the next war, or win it," he said, adding that this knowledge symbolizes the change that the Jewish people have gone through with the founding of Israel.
"Our enemies need to know that they won't break us, that despite the pain we will continue to defend our state, we will remain here," he said.