U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on Tuesday saluted the “brave” Israeli soldiers who gave their lives in defense of the country, as the Jewish state marked Memorial Day.
“As we pause today for the morning siren to mark Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, let us remember the brave Israeli service members who gave their lives for their country and all victims of terrorism.” Nides wrote on Twitter, adding: “May their memories be a blessing.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Tuesday for all citizens to “unite and stand as brothers,” speaking in an address at the main state ceremony.
“This year, more than ever, on the Memorial Day for the brave of our nation, we will remember that we are brothers: Jews, Druze, Muslims, Bedouin, Christians and Circassians,” said Netanyahu at Memorial Hall at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
“Brothers in service, brothers in arms, brothers in blood. This is the true spirit of our people. Together, we will stand as brothers and guarantee our independence from generation to generation. Together we will stand as brothers, and we will bow our heads in endless tribute to the heroism of the fallen,” he added.
Fifty-nine Israeli soldiers fell in the line of duty in the past year, and an additional 86 disabled veterans died due to their condition. Overall, 24,213 soldiers have lost their lives in service to the nation since 1860 and there have been 4,255 victims of Arab terror since 1851.