(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Exactly eleven years ago, on September 11, the world, as we knew it, changed. To honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who perished in the 9/11 terror attack in the USA, there was a gathering today at the living memorial in the Arazim Valley in Jerusalem, which was built by KKL-JNF with the help of a contribution from friends of KKL-JNF in the USA.
Among those who attended the moving ceremony were KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler; the US Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Daniel Shapiro; representatives of the families of the victims; and diplomats from 25 countries, who came to identify with the loss and to express their support.
US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro opened his address with a citation from the Talmud: “One who destroys a single life, it is as though he has destroyed an entire world.” He noted that the day thousands of families lost their loved ones was also a turning point for the whole world. “To the families, we say, you are not alone. If we maintain the spirit of brotherhood, it will be the most worthy tribute to the memory of the deceased.”
The impressive memorial, which towers like a torch held up to the sky, was erected in 2009 and was designed by artist Eliezer Weishoff, with the support of the Blank family of New York. It is a monument to the loss, and a call for peace between nations. The memorial plaza where the ceremony took place is named after Bronka Stavsky Rabin Weintraub and was dedicated to the memory of the victims and as a sign and symbol for hope and for peace.
“Eleven years have passed since that awful day,” said KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler in his address. “On that day, the free world understood that there is no choice but to go to war against the forces of evil. This monument is not just a memorial site but also a warning sign.”
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