The Israel Defense Forces is stronger than ever, President Shimon Peres told bereaved families at Israel’s Memorial Day ceremony in the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday night.
During his speech, which took place immediately after the Israeli flag was lowered to half-mast, Peres said that, while Israel has paid a heavy price for its existence, it is yet to stabilize peace.
Standing before the Western Wall, the president opened his speech with words of empathy for bereaved families. He went on to acknowledge that no words could heal the pain of losing a loved one. “We can collect words from morning to night,” said Peres, “To search the entire lexicon. To consult experts. To try every expression. Every sentence. Every single word. And I know, it has not yet been found – and will not be found – a word capable of healing sorrow. The sentence that has the power to console. There is none. There never was. And there never will be.”
“The State of Israel, to whom your children paid the highest and most painful price for its establishment, existence and security – a certain existence,” said Peres. “But there is still a threat to its peace… And if need be, we will know how to protect it again.”
“This time we will be more prepared,” continued Peres.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat were also to participate in the ceremony.
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This story "Peres: Israeli Army Has Never Been Stronger" was written by Haaretz.