Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paid his respects to Israel's fallen soldiers at the official Remembrance Day ceremony at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl on Monday.
"There is no pain in the world that surpasses the pain of parents who learn that their children have been killed," Netanyahu stated.
Having lost his brother Yoni during military service, Netanyahu said that he had seen his own parents hit with this loss.
"In the generations before the state was founded our blood was spilled, but that was purposeless, whereas here in Israel the medicine for the pain is the understanding of our purpose," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu cited the deaths of tens of thousands in Syria, as a possible fate of the Jews, without the existence of the state of Israel and the IDF.
"A few kilometers north of Jerusalem a massacre is occurring that has killed tens of thousands that do not have the power to defend themselves. Who would doubt that that would be our fate without the IDF. The IDF is the only thing that separates us from the massacres that our people knew in the past," he said.
"Israel can defend itself against any threat, but this security is gained by the loss of our sons and daughters," he said.
He said the sacrifices of the fallen make life possible in Israel.
In military cemeteries all over the country today, parents, siblings, spouses, children, and comrades in arms will gather to mourn loved ones and friends who died in service to the nation.
At 1 p.m there will be separate services also at Mount Herzl for victims of terrorism.
This evening, Mount Herzl, named for Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl, will again be a focal point, as people from all over the country together with visitors from abroad come together with IDF personnel and the Knesset guard to usher in Israel’s 66th Independence Day.