When Memorial Day sirens sound, “We will all become one family,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said as Israel remembers fallen soldiers and terror victims. A one-minute siren sounded at 8 p.m. Tuesday and a two-minute siren will sound at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
The Prime Minister recalled his brother Yoni, who was the commander and the only IDF casualty in the daring raid on Entebbe to rescue more than 100 hostages on a plane hijacked to Uganda.
“Like you, my dear brothers and sisters, on every Memorial Day I think of my dear fallen brother; I think about my parents who lost their beloved son, and about my brother Iddo, who lost his eldest brother,” he said.
Prime Minister Netanyahu also noted comrades who died when he was serving in the armed forces.
“I remember Chaim Ben Yona from Kibbutz Yehiam,” said the Prime Minister. "Chaim was an outstanding young man. He fell next to me while we were crossing the Suez Canal in the dead of night.
“I also remember my fellow soldiers Zohar Ben Linik and David Ben Hamo, both remarkable fellows who were killed during preparations for a military operation, shortly after we enlisted together to the Special Forces unit Sayeret Matkal. I escorted Zohar and David, who were seriously injured, to the hospital, where they were both pronounced dead….
"David Ben Hamo died in my arms on the drive from the training ground to the hospital…. When they say that it’s the best ones who fall, they mean people like Chaim and Zohar and David.
“Decades later, I visited David’s home in Beer Sheva, and I went into his room. The room was left exactly as he had left it the last time he was there. For us, the bereaved families, time stops as soon as we get the terrible news. A brutal sword rips our lives in two, and our lives will never be the same.
In a separate message to bereaved families, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “It was the heartfelt duty of our dear ones that led them to face the enemy…. Today, the People of Israel lay aside disagreements and stand as one beside you."
Remembrance Day is immediately followed by Independence Day – Yom HaAtzmaut. The Prime Minister remarked that thanks to Israel’s soldiers, especially those who fell, the State of Israel was reestablished.
“Thanks to them, the State of Israel will continue to develop and prosper, and thanks to them the members of the younger generation will also be able to live their lives in security and tranquility,” he told the families.