Memorial Day ceremonies commenced with a speech by the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, who said:
The Western Wall – this wall of prayers, last memory of the Temple, in front of which we stand every year, remembering and reminding of the sons and daughters, who gave their souls for the dream of establishing an Israeli nation in its country. The Western Wall – thousands of years of prayers and wishes are shoved into its slits, between the large bricks.
The Western Wall – the images of paratroopers touching its stones and kissing them- shedding tears of joy for the return of out people to its eternal capital, alongside tears of grief for their brothers, fallen in the grueling battles. These tears are the most esteemed expression of happiness and pain entwined in our every step and in our every struggle; they are the both honey and sting.
Both the Israeli flag on display, but also the burnt tank on the bridge leading to the Lion’s Gate. Both blowing of the shofar and calls of praise by Rabbi Goren, but also the Yizkor (remembrance) prayer; these are Independence Day, but also Memorial Day sacredly greeting it. These are tears of heroism, they are the essence of Israel’s history. Read more