Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the state ceremony for Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars on Tuesday on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.
“My brothers and sisters, bereaved families, I am one of you, a part of the family of bereavement. I am familiar with the grief and sorrow, the pride and the sense of longing. And I am familiar with our desire, the desire of the families, to commemorate our loved ones who sacrificed their lives for us, for our country and for our nation,” Netanyahu stated.
“One of the most meaningful moments in the impressive army service of Major Bar Falah of the Nahal Brigade, was his visit to Holocaust sites in Poland. After visiting a village where hundreds of Jewish babies had been buried, Bar said: ‘I swore to myself that the Jewish people will never suffer this again. Not as long as the IDF is prepared. Not as long as I am here,’” he added.
The prime minister emphasized the impact Bar continued to have despite the loss of his life.
“Bar is not here. He was killed seven months ago in a clash with terrorists. But his spirit is with us in all its force,” he noted.
Netanyahu also spoke about his own brother, whom he lost in battle decades ago.
“I was moved to see Major-General Yossi Ben Hanan, an Israeli hero who received the Medal of Courage, next to my brother’s grave yesterday. Fifty years ago, in the Yom Kippur war, Yoni rescued Yossi, who had been left injured at the site of battle on the Golan Heights, by the Syrian post at Tel Shams. Yoni received a Medal for Distinguished Service for this. Yossi came to my brother’s grave yesterday with his daughter, whom he named Yoni. ‘I grieve for you, my brother Jonathan; you were most dear to me,’” he said.
“May the sacred memory of our brothers and sisters, the beloved heroes, be cherished in the heart of the nation forever,” Netanyahu concluded later in his remarks.