Hundreds of people flocked to the Western Wall (Kotel) on Wednesday night, to inaugurate Israel's 67th Independence Day.
The prayer was organized by Rabbi Uri Sherki, who rose from the weeklong shiva mourning period earlier Wednesday for his son, Shalom Yohai, who was killed in last week's brutal car rampage attack in Jerusalem.
The prayer sessions was also attended by the Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Aryeh Stern, and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home).
"From long ago and until today, soldiers and security personnel have protected the people of Israel and chosen to sacrifice their lives for the noble cause of saving, and founding, the state and the people," Rabbi Ben-Dahan stated, bridging the themes of Memorial Day and Independence Day. "In recent years, unfortunately, while we have seen many deaths on the side of our enemies, we have had wars, and there have also been our men who have joined the long list of those who fell on the revival of Israel. Just one week ago, a terrorist killed Shalom Yochai."
"There is a direct line, and endless chain [of events] stretching from [the Biblical] Saul and Jonathan to the political assassinations of today," he continued. "After words of David's lament for Saul and Jonathan, he stood up and established the kingdom, first in Hevron and then in Jerusalem."
"We, too, have to remember that from the heroism of the fallen, we need to go and build our country bravely and humbly, in body and soul," he said, emphasizing the importance of Jewish unity.
"We will sanctify God's name wherever we are - and to all the people of Israel, secular and religious, Ashkenazic and Sephardic, right and left-wing, we will love them freely, and thus we will see redemption speedily in our days," he concluded.