Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the central Memorial Day ceremony at the Har Herzl cemetery Monday.
"It is very difficult, and perhaps impossible,” he said, “for someone who did not experience bereavment to understand the full meaning of the grief that struck us; the force of the shock and the feeling of loss and of missing out, which filled us on the day that the graves of our loved ones opened before us.”
"There we sat, there we wept, when we remembered our sons and brothers who fell for Zion,” he paraphrased Psalms.
"We are pained by the sorrow of the widows, and the sorrow of the orphans, and there is no pain in the world greater than that of parents who receive the news that their children have fallen,” Netanyahu continued. “The blow that lands on you when you hear the bitter news is like a sword that cuts the living flesh. It crushes life's routine and does not let go, in the day or in the night, in an endless chain of suffering.
"But one can deal with it and continue living, and without forgetting, to be consoled by the fact that the fallen gave their lives for the country.”
"I saw my parents fall into the pit of bereavement, when my brother Yoni fell,” he said. “The pit of bereavement is a deep one and its walls are slippery. It is hard to climb out and in a certain sense they never did.”
"In the generations of Diaspora, before the state was founded, our blood was spilled, but the enormous pain was, on innumerable occasions, without purpose and without a solution. Whereas here in Israel, the medicine for the pain is in understanding its purpose," Netanyahu added.
"A few kilometers north of Jerusalem a massacre is occurring that has killed tens of thousands who do not have the power to defend themselves,” he continued, in reference to the Syrian civil war. “Who would doubt that that would be our fate without the IDF? The IDF is the only thing that separates us from the massacres that our people knew in the past," he said.