US Marines Guard of Honor at the 9\11 Living Memorial in the Jerusalem Hills.
(photo credit: YOAV DEVIR KKL-JNF)
“In this inspiring place, we emphasize our commitment to stand together, the United States and Israel, and continue together to build a better future in a spirit of solidarity,” said United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Among the approximately five hundred guests attending the ceremony were family members who lost loved ones on 9/11, diplomats from all over the world, new immigrants from Nefesh b’Nefesh, army volunteers from the Sar-El organization, a delegation of pupils from the Alexander Muss High School, representatives of United Airlines, and representatives of the Israel Fire and Rescue Authority. The ceremony, which was held at the 9/11 Living Memorial in the Jerusalem hills, was moved up to September 6 because this year, the anniversary of the terror attacks fell on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.
“The terrorists who perpetrated this heinous act did not distinguish between race, nationality, or faith,” said KKL-JNF Vice Chairman Yair Lotstein. “They had only one goal: to kill, to maim, to destroy. We stand here today, before the only monument outside the United States to include the names of all victims of 9/11, to honor those dear to us who perished in this tragedy and to remember the thousands killed and injured that horrific day. We also dedicate this day to the memory of the first responders: firefighters and police officers who gave their lives valiantly, selflessly, trying to rescue those trapped in the flames and in the ruins.”
KKL-JNF, with the support of its friends in the U.S., built the Living Memorial in the Arazim Valley to commemorate the victims of the 9/11 attacks and as a call for peace among the nations of the world. The monument depicts the American flag transforming into a memorial flame. At its base is a steel beam taken from the ruins of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The plaza is encircled by stone panels bearing the names of the almost 3,000 victims - the only monument outside the U.S. to contain all their names.
“JNF USA selected Jerusalem, the Holy City, home to the world’s major religions, as the site to build the memorial,” said Ed Blank, a JNF USA
National Board Member. “This memorial stands as a tangible reminder to us and future generations that we must stand united in our fight against terrorism and safeguard our freedom and our democratic principles and values.”
Eric Michaelson, Chief Israel Officer of JNF USA, said in his remarks that the United States and Israel were undeterred by terrorism, and would continue to spread the message of peace. “This living memorial site stands as a bright beacon of the shared values and brotherhood of both our nations as we look past the darkest of times and remain standing together, giving each other the strength to continue building a better world,” he said.