Rivlin Commemorates Trumpeldor
Rivlin Commemorates Trumpeldor Mark Neyman (GPO)

President Reuven Rivlin attended Monday the official memorial service of military hero Joseph Trumpeldor and the other defenders of early Jewish settlement Tel Hai. 

The ceremony marks 95 years since they fell heroically in a firefight at the hands of an Arab gang. 

Rivlin laid a wreath at the foot of the "Roaring Lion" monument dedicated to their memory and located in Kfar Giladi, where the eight Jews killed are buried. 

Also in attendance at the memorial ceremony were Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Yitzhak Vaknin; Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud); president of the Northern District Magistrates Court, Judge George Azoulay; the head of the Upper Galilee Regional Council, Giora Zaltz; and the Mayor of Kiryat Shmona, Rabbi Nissim Malka.

"It is good to live for our country," Rivlin said, referencing Trumpeldor's famous last words: "It is good to die for our country."

"I grew up in the heart of Betar, which was the covenant of Yosef Trumpeldor, who was the blessing of Tel Hai and is still a blessing for us. I tell you - this is the true testament of Trumpeldor. A vision of life, a vision of national revival. In his name the men of Tel Hai went out to battle, and in his name, they gave their lives."

"The dead of Tel Hai are not called warriors or even heroes. They are called shields - 'the defenders of Tel Hai.' And for good reason," Rivlin explained.

"The people of Tel Hai did not build their homes here out of a thirst for war. They came to Israel to live here, to build and defend our country. They came to live for our country."

"They were men and women, immigrants and veterans, people of education, books, and the military. They spent their days and night trying to build a home here," Rivlin continued. 

"The heritage of the people of Tel Hai is an eternal legacy that we carry with is. It is that 'it is good to live for our country.'" 

Concluding his remarks, the President noted that "today I pray, that this lifetime legacy, that has accompanied us for ninety-five years, will continue to be our guiding light, and the source of our vision for the future."