Reuven and granddaughter
Reuven and granddaughter Israel National News
Reuven and granddaughter
Reuven and granddaughter Israel National News

The siren marking Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day was activated today (Thursday) by Holocaust survivor and IDF Brigadier General (Res.) Reuven Eyal and his granddaughter, Private Shani Eyal, who serves as an emergency alert operator for the Home Front Command.

Reuven Eyal was born in Transylvania, Romania in 1935. During the Holocaust, his father was transported to a forced labor camp. In 1948, Eyal immigrated to Israel with his brother.

Reuven enlisted in the IDF in 1953 and completed the pilots training course in 1955. During his years in the Israeli Air Force, he held a number of positions, including head of the enemy weapons research department, head of intelligence research, and commander of the Sde Dov airbase.

Reuven also served as a pilot and commander in the 1956 Suez War, Six Day War, Yom Kippur War and 1982 Lebanon War. In his final role with the army, Reuven headed the intelligence corps, during which he was also involved in Operation Babylon that culminated in the destruction of Iraq's nuclear reactor.

Reuven and granddaughter after activating siren
Reuven and granddaughter after activating siren Israel National News

"For many, the Holocaust served as a turning point which prompted them to immigrate to Israel, to a country they could feel safe in," says Reuven, adding: "It is important for me to teach the younger generation that they hold the keys to this country's future. It warms my heart to see my granddaughter passing on her family tradition to future generations, ensuring the wellbeing of the Jewish State and providing advanced warning against threats to our country. I am proud of her and the unit in which she serves."

"I made history today," says Reuven. "It was my personal victory."

Reuven's granddaughter adds: "I am proud of the path my grandfather has taken and the person he has become. I was excited to activate the siren in memory of millions of Holocaust victims and all the residents of the State of Israel. For me, it was a great privilege that takes on additional meaning when I think of my position in the army. It marks a sense of closure and a great victory for the Jewish people."