Israeli US Envoy: Memorial Day Reminder of Price Paid for ‘Historic Transformation’ of Jewish People From Weakness to Strength
The Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, held a special ceremony on Monday – which was broadcast online due to the coronavirus pandemic — to mark the annual Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism.
A total of 23,816 soldiers have died defending Israel, while 3,153 civilians have lost their lives in terrorist attacks throughout the country’s history.
At the start of the event, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox — Israel’s defense attaché to the US — said, “Today we hold a virtual ceremony… The gathering is more personal. The ability to share is more complex. We are all grieving and thinking of you: the bereaved families. We are all feeling your pain from afar but we are close to you in our hearts.”
In his remarks, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer said, “Yom Hazikaron is a unique day in the life of Israel. It is also a unique day in the life of Israelis who live in communities across America. It is a unique day when we mourn together as communities and join Israel as it mourns as a nation.”
“Coming together on Yom Hazikaron is also an opportunity to renew our sense of purpose — to appreciate the great transformation that has occurred in the life of the Jewish people with the rebirth of the Jewish state,” he continued. “Israel has transformed us from a downtrodden, weak and stateless people, into a proud, strong and sovereign nation. But as we remember this historic transformation on Yom Hazikaron, we also remember that it has come at a price — a heavy price. And we reaffirm our sacred duty to remember those who have paid that price and to embrace their families.”
“Yom Hazikaron is Israel’s day of ultimate solidarity. Because today, an entire nation remembers those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Dermer concluded.
On Tuesday, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) issued a statement marking Israel Memorial Day, saying, “On Yom HaZikaron, we pause to remember the brave men and women who answered the call to serve the Jewish state and gave their lives in its defense. We also remember today the innocent civilians taken by the senseless violence of terrorism.”
“As we hear the siren ring out, we come together as a people to pay our solemn respects to Israel’s 23,816 fallen soldiers and the more than 3,000 Israelis taken by terror,” it added. “May their memory be for a blessing, and may these numbers cease to grow in our time.”