Thousands of people participated in an official ceremony in memory of the residents of Gush Etzion who fell before the establishment of the State. The event took place at the central cemetery in Gush Etzion, located in Kfar Etzion.
Residents, Yeshiva students, IDF soldiers, and visitors from around the country joined to remember the lives of those killed to defend the land of Israel and the honor of the Jewish people, both in recent years and in the “old yishuv” of Gush Etzion, when Jews were murdered by bloodthirsty Arabs right before the establishment of the State.
Torches in memory of the fallen were lit and carried by officials, including Davidi Perl, Etzion Regional Council director. Prayers were said for the fallen, with the prayer memorializing the murdered members of the community led by local resident Kuti Altman, whose father was killed in the final battle for Gush Etzion in May 1948, just hours before the establishment of the State.
“Gush Etzion unites with the memories of its fallen sons and daughters,” said Perl. “The story of their dedication and bravery is an important part of our long heritage in this place. In their deaths, they commanded us to live.”
Speaking at the event was coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin, who said that the “the memory of those killed in battle and in terror attacks will continue to accompany us forever. Would that, by our actions, we would be able to successfully preserve the state that they bequeathed us, to strengthen and advance it. Standing here on the holy ground of Gush Etzion, where there is a large Jewish community that is flowering and growing, a source of pride for Israel, we will remember those who sacrificed themselves for our sakes,” Levin said.