PM Netanyahu’s Address at Memorial Day Service

PM Netanyahu’s Address at Memorial Day Service

  photo by GPO  
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Today, the State of Israel lowers its flag to half-mast in honor of the fallen soldiers and the bereaved families. Like you, my dear brothers and sisters, on every Memorial Day I think of my dear fallen brother; I think about my parents who lost their beloved son, and about my brother Iddo, who lost his eldest brother. And like many other citizens, I think about my brothers in arms who fell besides me, who are no more.

I remember Haim Ben Yona from Kibbutz Yehiam. Haim was an outstanding young man. He fell next to me while we were crossing the Suez Canal in the dead of night.

I also remember my fellow soldiers Zohar Ben Linik and David Ben Hamo, both remarkable fellows who were killed during preparations for a military operation, shortly after we enlisted together to the Special Forces unit Sayeret Matkal. I escorted Zohar and David, who were seriously injured, to the hospital, where they were both pronounced dead.

Zohar was good looking, multi-talented and vibrant, an exceptional person. David Ben Hamo died in my arms on the drive from the training ground to the hospital. He came from Be’er Sheva; he was highly intelligent, a gifted athlete and an excellent student at the Boyer High School. He had a nobility and gentleness that appealed to anyone who met him. When they say that it’s the best ones who fall, they mean people like Haim and Zohar and David.

Decades later, I visited David’s home in Beer Sheva, and I went into his room. The room was left exactly as he had left it the last time he was there. For us, the bereaved families, time stops as soon as we get the terrible news. A brutal sword rips our lives in two, and our lives will never be the same.

When the siren goes off this evening, we will all become one family. The citizens of Israel will grieve singly, but will be united in remembrance. They will bow their heads respectfully in memory of those who fell and sacrificed their lives to defend our people. It is thanks to them that we were given our independence and the privilege to live securely in our country.

May their memory be blessed.