President Reuven Rivlin began the second day of his trip to the United States with a visit to the West Point US Military Academy.
Rivlin was greeted by the Dean of the Academic Board, Brigadier General Timothy E. Trainor and was welcomed with a Guard of Honor as well as the playing of Hatikva and The Star-Spangled Banner - the Israeli and US national anthems.
To start his visit, Rivlin laid a wreath on the grave of General David Daniel "Mickey" Marcus, considered the first IDF General, who came to Israel to fight in the War of Independence where he contributed greatly.
Marcus was shot and killed by friendly-fire during the war and was brought back to the US to be buried at West Point.
“Today we stand before the resting place of a hero," Rivlin stated. "David Daniel 'Micky' Marcus showed tremendous faith in the justness of the path of the Jewish people, and the establishment of the Jewish State. Micky bravely led the Jewish fighters, and showed them how to fight, with dignity and with pride."
"As an American and Israeli military figure, he combines so much of what we know to be true, that when we stand up to defend our countries, we are also standing up to defend our shared values of freedom and democracy."
"He rests here in a place of education, a place that teaches the defense of these values, with a proud legacy of defending liberty," Rivlin continued.
"For me, he was the first general of the IDF in every sense of the word. He had a sense of purpose and mission, in the establishment of the Israel Defense Forces, he taught us how to act as an army in our early days, and was one of Ben-Gurion’s greatest military advisors."
"There is no one who better illustrates the strong bond between Israel and the United States," Rivlin noted.
The President later met with some 40 cadets where he listened to them discuss their training and the expectations of their military service.
Following these conversations, Rivlin commenced for lunch with thousands of the academy's students. Rivlin congratulated the students and stressed to them the importance of the US and Israeli relationship as based on shared values.