Big-wigs attend event in memory of Munich 11

Ceremony features candle lighting in memory of 11 Israeli coaches, athletes murdered at Games in Germany 40 years ago.

Israeli olympians at Munich memorial 370 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli olympians at Munich memorial 370 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
LONDON – After having all its appeals to hold a minute’s silence at the opening ceremony rejected, the Olympic Committee of Israel, the Jewish Committee for the London Games and the Embassy of Israel held the official memorial ceremony to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics and the tragic murder of 11 Israelis on Monday night.
The families of the slain as well as IOC chief Jacques Rogge, chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games Lord Sebastian Coe and Prime Minister David Cameron all attended the impressive ceremony at the Guildhall.
The ceremony featured the lighting of candles in memory of the 11 Israeli coaches and athletes murdered at the Games in Germany 40 years ago.
“This evening we mark the 40th anniversary of one of the darkest days in the history of the Olympic Games,” Cameron said. “A sickening act of terrorism that betrayed everything the Olympic movement stands for and everything that we in Britain believe in.
“So as the world comes together in London to celebrate the Games and the values it represents, it is right that we should stop and remember the 11 Israeli athletes who so tragically lost their lives when those values came under attack in Munich.
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“It was a truly shocking act of evil. A crime against the Jewish people. A crime against humanity. A crime the world must never forget.”
Sport and Culture Minister Limor Livnat linked in her speech between dark moments in our past, the Munich massacre and the recent terrorist attack in Bulgaria.
“There is a line to be drawn from dark moments in our past to Munich, and from Munich to Burgas, where Israeli tourists were murdered by terrorists just three weeks ago,” Livnat said.
“It is the murder of Jews simply because they are Jews. Jewish athletes, Jewish tourists, and just plain Jews. There is a difference though. The intention of the murderers is the same, but the status of the victims has changed.
“In 1942, there was no Jewish state, and European Jewry was annihilated. It was a time to speak out, but the world was silent. In 1972, there was a Jewish state, a state which held the murderers accountable and insisted on justice.
“And 40 years later, in 2012, the perpetrators of the Burgas terrorist attack will not escape justice, because in the face of terror, it is never time to be silent.”