(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Six years after the Second Lebanon War, an observation point commemorating the one hundred and twenty-one IDF soldiers, who lost their lives in fierce combat, was inaugurated on July 3, 2012, on Mount Adir. The ceremony was attended by the President of Israel, the Deputy Chief of Staff, the Environment Minister and the bereaved families. The site was developed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) with the assistance of KKL-JNF and a contribution from friends of KKL-JNF in Latin America.
The mountaintop, whose altitude is a little over 1,000 meters, views not only the beautiful landscapes of northern Israel but also Lebanon, the land where the war was waged against Hezbollah. When you are in the heart of nature, it is hard to believe that not far from here, so many soldiers were killed. The observation point includes a wooden deck, explanation signs that recount the story of the war, metal plaques engraved with the names of the fallen soldiers and maps of the area.
“This site is very moving,” said President Shimon Peres at the ceremony. “The breathtaking scenery blends with unforgettable bravery. There could be no more appropriate way to commemorate these young men.” Addressing the bereft parents directly, President Peres said, “You, who raised and educated your sons, are worthy of the gratitude of the entire nation. The true strength of Israel lies in its sons and daughters, and the site we are dedicating today will perpetuate their heroism and courage.”
The idea of creating the observation point began about five years ago on the initiative of the bereaved families and a representative of the parents, David Einhorn, father of Yonatan, of blessed memory. "The goal was to connect us, the parents, to the place where our sons went with their heads held high and laid down their lives for the State of Israel,” said Einhorn. “This connection takes on great importance, since we hope that the site will become a legacy for the younger generation, who will learn about the war and know its heroes.”
Yishai Soker, KKL-JNF Deputy Director of the Northern Region, said that when he was contacted by the bereaved parents, it was clear that KKL-JNF would collaborate. “This site reflects KKL-JNF's main objectives—connecting to nature, reinforcing our heritage and educating to love Israel and Zionism,” said Soker. “The friends of KKL-JNF in Latin America enabled us to make this dream into a reality.”
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