PM Netanyahuís Address at Memorial Day Service
24 April 2012
Today, the State of Israel lowers its flag to half-mast in honor of the
fallen soldiers and the bereaved families. Like you, my dear brothers and
sisters, on every Memorial Day I think of my dear fallen brother; I think
about my parents who lost their beloved son, and about my brother Iddo, who
lost his eldest brother. And like many other citizens, I think about my
brothers in arms who fell besides me, who are no more.
I remember Haim Ben Yona from Kibbutz Yehiam. Haim was an outstanding young
man. He fell next to me while we were crossing the Suez Canal in the dead of
I also remember my fellow soldiers Zohar Ben Linik and David Ben Hamo, both
remarkable fellows who were killed during preparations for a military
operation, shortly after we enlisted together to the Special Forces unit
Sayeret Matkal. I escorted Zohar and David, who were seriously injured, to
the hospital, where they were both pronounced dead.
Zohar was good looking, multi-talented and vibrant, an exceptional person.
David Ben Hamo died in my arms on the drive from the training ground to the
hospital. He came from Beíer Sheva; he was highly intelligent, a gifted
athlete and an excellent student at the Boyer High School. He had a
nobility and gentleness that appealed to anyone who met him. When they say
that itís the best ones who fall, they mean people like Haim and Zohar and
Decades later, I visited Davidís home in Beer Sheva, and I went into his
room. The room was left exactly as he had left it the last time he was
there. For us, the bereaved families, time stops as soon as we get the
terrible news. A brutal sword rips our lives in two, and our lives will
never be the same.
When the siren goes off this evening, we will all become one family. The
citizens of Israel will grieve singly, but will be united in remembrance.
They will bow their heads respectfully in memory of those who fell and
sacrificed their lives to defend our people. It is thanks to them that we
were given our independence and the privilege to live securely in our
May their memory be blessed.