Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Message to Bereaved Families
A moment before we mark 59 years of independence, we stand silent as we remember the precious, heavy and painful price which accompanies our struggle for existence as a Jewish, democratic, sovereign and independent country in the Land of Israel.
< span style="font-family:arial;">Over the past year, we were again reminded that this aspiration involves struggle and heartache, and that is because, even today, there are, among our enemies, those who cannot resign themselves to our existence, and seek to destroy the sovereignty of Israel by harming its citizens and soldiers. Again we had to stand up for and defend the lives of the citizens of Israel; we were forced to fight for and defend the State and the right of the residents of the North and South to live their lives in tranquility and security.
Since the last Remembrance Day, we have lost 233 regular and reserve soldiers and members of the security forces, largely during the Second Lebanon War, which was intended to ward off the threat on our northern border. Even today, we continue working toward and hoping for the return the three kidnapped soldiers. We also hope and pray for the full recovery of the wounded.
For the 59 years of our existence, during war after war and during routine days, we paid with the blood of the best of our children for all our futures, and for the hope to live in our country in peace. You, the bereaved families, have paid the terrible price of this hope. On this day, we stand beside you - who carry in your hearts the memory of the fallen every day - with the promise and vow that we will remember the fallen and that their memory will remain etched in the heart of the nation forever.
May the memory of the fallen be blessed and be forever bound to our lives.
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