My brothers and sisters in bereavement, in our 72 years of independence we have known various memorial days. We have marked them in times of wars and battles, in times of military campaigns and raids, in waves of terrorism, and in peaceful times when vigilance was the order of the day—as it always is.
This year we remember the heroic acts of our sons and daughters in the midst of the fight against the coronavirus. This is a new kind of enemy, but God willing, we will defeat it, too. We will do so with determination and national solidarity and cohesion.
These values are the legacy of the fallen, the legacy of our loved ones. In trying times, they led the charge to defend our shared home and protect the vision of national resurrection. We are forever in their debt.
I also know another thing: They would want us to go on, to live our lives safe and sound. This principle has guided us this year—to preserve life and health and not endanger either needlessly. This is why, this year, we will avoid gatherings in military cemeteries and have military honor guards stationed there.
I know how hard this is. I would like to visit my brother’s grave just like you want to visit the graves of your loved ones.
But this year, we will commemorate them in different ways—in stories, movies and songs; by lighting candles, meeting online, and above all—in our hearts.
Benjamin Netanyahu is the prime minister of Israel.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.