Netanyahu: Israel depends on the ‘sacrifice’ of ‘our sons and daughters’

“Our lives continue to depend on the willingness of our sons and daughters to sacrifice themselves,” Netanyahu stated on Israel Memorial Day.

At formal ceremonies, private gatherings and visits to military cemeteries around the country, more than a million Israelis paused on Monday to remember the 23,544 IDF soldiers who died while defending the country.

Since last Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims, a total of 97 soldiers died, including 37 disabled veterans who succumbed to their war injuries and were recognized as fallen soldiers.

“Our lives continue to depend on the willingness of our sons and daughters to sacrifice themselves, and I know that this sacrifice is a necessary condition not only for our existence but also for achieving peace with our neighbors,” Netanyahu stated in his Yom Hazikaron address at the military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

“I promise that we will not rest until we return Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul home,” added Netanyahu, referring to the two IDF soldiers whose bodies are still being held by Hamas after they were killed during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge.

“Tonight, when the flag returns to the top of the mast, we will know that the State of Israel is a true consolation, the realization of many generations’ dream and a model to the nations,” he underscored.

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Pnina Seror, daughter of Pvt. Pinchas Seror, who fell in November 1956, lit the torch of remembrance at the Mount Herzl ceremony, prior to the reading of the Yizkor memorial prayer, the reciting of the Mourner’s Kaddish and the singing of Hatikva, Israel’s national anthem, which means “The Hope.”

In addition to the central ceremony in Jerusalem, more than 50 military cemeteries and hundreds of other sites accommodated Israelis coming to pay their respects to the fallen.

By: Ilana Messika/TPS and World Israel News Staff