Dear Families,

25/04/2004 Soon darkness will fall, the siren will sound. The State of Israel will unite and remember it’s fallen, its heroes. It seems that on this day, Israel’s Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers, more than any other day, the feelings of internal unity, national solidarity and our sharing in the grief of the bereaved families is genuine and profound. The gates of our hearts open on this one day in humility, pain and eternal gratitude. For you as well, members of bereaved families, Remembrance Day is not like other days, although all your days and nights are filled with memories and sorrow. On this one day, more than any other day, you are enveloped by feelings of fellowship and mutual destiny. More than any other time, on this day you are not alone in your grief. Your loved ones who fell are the beloved of the entire nation. The pennant of heroism on which their names are engraved is the central pillar in building the State of Israel. It is the basis for its establishment, and since then we have leaned on it for our existence and security. Devotion, valor and supreme sacrifice are not slogans or figures of speech. Whoever led warriors in the most difficult of battles, whoever saw them charge in the face of heavy bombardment, whoever watched them overcome obstacles over water and landmine fields under lethal shelling, whoever felt their pain over a fallen comrade and saw them wipe away a tear and go on, dress their wounds and return to the line of battle – whoever was witness to all this will cherish the soldiers and commanders, the warrior spirit, until their dying day.

The following lines by Natan Alterman about warriors at the end of a battle depict this reality: „.. tired to no end, denied of repose — wearers of grit and gear and heavy shoes — they did not change clothes, did not clean with water yet the tracks of the day of hard labor and the night of the front line..” We will lower our flags in their honor today, and you, our sisters and brothers from the bereaved families, we embrace with love, and we will strengthen your hands to help you bear your burden of sorrow. We will work and do all we can to be worthy of the pure virtue of the sacrifice made by the fallen, in order to establish our society on the foundation of equality and justice, and so that we can imbue our homes and borders with security and peace. We will not wait and we will not delay, we will not allow others to determine our destiny. We will take the initiative and stride determinedly and courageously forward, and will mold, with our own hands, a reality which will coincide with the security and political interests which are so important to us, and with our profound desire for peace. It is our duty to know we have done everything so that the rows of headstones will not get any longer, so that the beautiful among the flowers of our lives will no longer be plucked in their prime. May the memory of the fallen be engraved in our hearts and the eternity of Israel.BPI.