Masa Israel Memorial Day ceremony 2019.
(photo credit: YOSSI ZAMIR)
Some 6,000 Jewish youths and leaders of Jewish communities from across the world took part in a Remembrance Day ceremony conducted in English organized by the Masa organization at Latrun on Tuesday night.
The ceremony, which has taken place annually for more than a decade, is the only official ceremony organized with the assistance of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. Conducted in English, the ceremony is simultaneously translated into French, Spanish and Russian. It focuses on the contribution of lone soldiers and graduates of Masa.
“We yearn for our loved ones who fell in the battle, and for those who have fallen victim to antisemitic terrorism and hate, in Israel, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Paris and the entire world,” said Jewish Agency for Israel chairman Isaac Herzog. “We can never reconnect the pieces, but we can cherish the memory of the fallen and honor their heritage.”
The ceremony included videos about fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. Participants heard about Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed in action in Gaza in 2014, and whose remains are being held by Hamas, Staff Sgt. Jordan Ben Simon, a French lone soldier who was also killed in action during Operation Protective Edge, Staff Sgt. Sean Carmeli, an American lone soldier killed in action during Operation Protective Edge, and Yelena and Yulia Nalimov, sisters from Russia who were killed in a suicide bombing at Tel Aviv’s Dolphinarium in 2001.
“We are always guided by the Jewish principle ‘all Israel is responsible for one other’ and we have a special responsibility for missing soldiers and captive citizens,” said Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan at the ceremony. “Just as we didn’t rest for 37 years until we brought Zachary Baumel back to his home, so too we will not rest until we bring back Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul and all of our other captives and missing people. I believe that this is our highest moral obligation and a sacred oath to our soldiers and their families.”
“I promise that we will take every step, against every enemy, in order to ensure that our citizens can enjoy security and tranquility,” Erdan stated. “This is our duty to our loved ones who are no longer with us and this is our commitment to our children and the entire Jewish nation.”
“The ceremony enables young Diaspora Jews to be true partners in a position that holds great weight in the life of Israeli society,” said Liran Avisar Ben Horin, the CEO of Masa Israel Journey. “The ceremony, in its unique form, has become, over the years, a moving memory in which Diaspora Jews bow their heads together with the entire people of Israel in memory of the fallen.”
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