ashkenazi yom kippur 224.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Lessons learned in the Yom Kippur War are still relevant today, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi said at the opening of the main ceremony in honor of soldiers who lost their lives defending the country 34 years ago.
"A lesson of war for me is an order to look sensibly at reality and not to follow the heart's wishesâ€¦ Even at the beginning of Israel's sixtieth year of independence, we knew that we were fighting for our existence and our right to achieve independence in the state of Israel," said Ashkenazi at Mt. Herzl on Sunday.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who spoke after the army chief, reminded those who came to remember the fallen that a war is first and foremost a war of combatants and their commanders in the field, despite the fact that history books are filled with the names of political and military leaders.
"Even the Yom Kippur War was a war of soldiers and commanders who provided cover for the leadership's failures with their hearts and their heroism. We must not follow the vision of a fictitious moment, the spirit of Israel must be prepared at every moment as if the next war is around the corner," Barak added.
Smaller ceremonies commemorating the war's fallen were held throughout military cemeteries around the country earlier in the day.
Ceremonies were also scheduled to take place in Kiryat Shaul, Haifa, Holon, Netanya, Rehovot and Ashdod at four p.m.