IDF soldiers on Remembrance Day 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel marked Remembrance Day on Tuesday, with an opening ceremony at
Yad Lebanim in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President
Shimon Peres, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi
Yona Metzger attended the ceremony. A memorial candle was lit and
Kaddish was said in honor of soldiers that have fallen in Israel's wars.
At 8 p.m. a siren was scheduled to be sounded, preceding memorial ceremonies throughout the country, including a service at the Western Wall, which Peres and Netanyahu were both scheduled to attend.
On Tuesday evening, the Knesset was due to hold an official memorial
ceremony. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Ehud Barak,
Welfare Minister Moshe Kahlon, Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Yair Naveh and
Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino were among those expected to read
poetry by and about fallen soldiers.
Earlier Tuesday Netanyahu
issued a message to bereaved families of fallen soldiers, in which he
said that the unbreakable bond between Remembrance Day and Independence
day underscores the fact those who fell in Israel's wars, did not fall
"My brothers and sisters, members of bereaved families,
it was the heartfelt duty of our dear ones that led them to face the
enemy," Netanyahu said, emphasizing that it Israelis have a duty, not
only to remember the fallen, but to look toward the future as well.
the People of Israel lay aside disagreements and stand as one beside
you. Today we remember the fallen of Israel's wars, all of our dear
ones. Each one had a family. Every name has a life's story of its own;
an entire world has been cut short, " Netanyhau added.
reference to his late brother Yoni Netanyahu, who fell in the Entebbe
rescue mission, the prime minister continued: "As a member of a bereaved
family, Remembrance Day is very significant for me. It is not only a
national day of remembrance, it is also a private day of remembrance for
me and my family, as it is for all of you."
Looking ahead to
Independence Day, Netanyahu stressed that due to the soldiers that
fought for Israel, the state arose. "Thanks to them, the State of Israel
will continue to develop and prosper, and thanks to them the members of
the younger generation will also be able to live their lives in
security and tranquility," Netanyahu stated.
Barak also wrote a letter to bereaved families Tuesday, in which he
affirmed that the fight for Israel's existence that has been fought
since the 1948 War of Independence is not over,
Israel has and
continues to face "challenges and struggles over our very existence
here," Barak wrote. "That fight is not over and the price is very
Even in its 64th year of independence, great challenges
lie ahead of Israel but the state is doing everything to strengthen
itself, the defense minister continued, pointing to "loyalty,
perseverance and bravery form the basis of our strength and our ability
to stand against every enemy, near and far."
bereaved families, Barak said that as defense minister he stands by
their side and promised not to give up on the dream of peace.