"I am moved to be here in the Belgian Forest at Neve Ilan, to dedicate a forest grove in memory of the 22 children and 6 adults who were killed in the awful bus crash that took place near Sierre, Switzerland, about a year ago. The children, most of whom were Belgian and some of whom were Dutch, were returning home from a ski holiday in the mountains. It was a terrible shock for us when we heard about it. Belgian flags were lowered to half-mast, and an official day of mourning was declared, so that the entire country could express their solidarity with the bereaved families." The Honorable John Cornet d'Elzius, Belgian ambassador to Israel, was speaking at a ceremony dedicating a forest grove in memory of the children that took place on Thursday, February 14, at the Belgian Forest in the Judean Mountains.
"This gesture of KKL-JNF," the ambassador continued, "dedicating a forest grove in memory of the children, touches our hearts deeply and strengthens the bond between the people of Israel and the people of Belgium. Trees have great symbolic value. On behalf of my country, I would like to thank you for this very meaningful way of commemorating the memory of those who were killed in the bus crash."
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