The official state ceremony commemorating Israel’s fallen was held on Wednesday at Mount Herzl’s Memorial Hall. The ceremony began after a two-minute siren was sounded throughout Israel. A separate ceremony commemorating the victims of terror attacks in Israel and abroad at Mount Herzl will be held at 1:00 p.m.
Aside from bereaved families, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Israeli Supreme Court President Justice Esther Hayut and Israel Police chief Roni Alsheikh attended the ceremony.
“All of us, Jews, Druze, Christians, Bedouins and Circassians, are standing together against terror fanatics who want to destroy us. Together, we will continue to defeat them,” Netanyahu said during his speech. “A young boy asked me how do I decide to send children into battle, what do I think about. I told him- the security of the state and its people. I think about the soldiers and I think about you and the families like yours that could pay the heaviest price of all.”
“The fallen soldiers of Israel’s battles—I am here thanks to them,” he added. “I wish a speedy recovery to our wounded and remain committed to investing in the efforts to return Oron Shaul, Hadar Goldin and Avera Mengistu.”
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman spoke at the memorial ceremony that was held at the military section of the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery in Tel Aviv. “Regarding the security of the State of Israel and its citizens, there won’t be any compromise or oversight,” he stated. “My advice to our neighbors—in the north and in the south—take this into consideration and take it seriously.”
According to Israeli Defense Ministry data, 23,645 people have fallen in defense of the State of Israel. In the past year, 71 active Israeli servicemen and women were added to the death toll. In addition, 30 disabled IDF veterans died from the wounds they sustained during their service.
Originally posted at Jerusalem Online.