74 years since the death of ‘Yair’ Stern
74 years since the death of ‘Yair’ SternPhoto: GPO, Amos Ben Gershom

President Reuven Rivlin, laid a wreath Thursday during a memorial ceremony marking the 74th anniversary since the death of Avraham "Yair" Stern, leader of the Irgun movement that fought to establish the modern Jewish state.

The ceremony took place in the Nahalat Yitzhak cemetery in Givatayim and was attended by members of the Stern family, the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yafo Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, and the mayor of Givatayim Ran Kunik.

"I could not and did not want to go a different way than the one I went in. I do not regret even for a moment, and never will regret it,” President Rivlin quoted Stern’s last letter to his wife, Roni.

"Yair fascinated the people around him, and his charm did not fade even after his death. On the contrary, his death intensified his call to revolt, he sparked the fire, and strengthened the power of Lehi. Yet, there were those who dismissed his complex character, pinning him as a fascist or terrorist. Yair himself poked fun at these expressions, but he was not a fascist nor a terrorist," said the president.

“Upon his death, Yair won love he did not receive during his life. Upon his murder, he won admiration he never received before. He fought to the bitter end, touched thousands of hearts and ignited in them a nationalistic fire. Yair did not live to see the fruition of his dream, but we did, and we must not forget this moment," concluded the President.