Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman issued a special letter to the bereaved families of fallen soldiers ahead of the start of the Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers.
Minister Liberman wrote: "Thanks to the courage, heroism, and sacrifice of the fallen - and thanks to you, who continue to see the great light - we are striding forward to the next challenges."
"We have in our hearts a great hope that in the coming years we will no longer live by the sword, and that we will be able to invest in science and technology, agriculture and economy and in the development of the treasures of our wonderful country.
"Always, even when we will merit the days where their is joy and light for everyone, we will lower our flag in the memory of our loved ones - but we will not lower our stature, nor will our hearts be blessed. We will remember those who fell on the path to independence and security, and of course [we also remember] you, who bear the burden of loss and longing every day.
"Around Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen, like every day, we do everything to commemorate the fallen of our war of existence, to preserve forever the heritage of their heroism and to instill it in future generations. Their names are engraved on the wall of eternity in the Hall of Remembrance in Jerusalem, where a memorial candle will be lit forever.
"I embrace you. We will always remember your loved ones - our loved ones, the loved ones of the entire nation," the defense minister wrote.