President Isaac Herzog calls on Israelis to hearken the sirens that blare to remember the country’s fallen as a call for unity at a time of national “discord.”
Speaking at the main Memorial Day ceremony at the Western Wall after Israelis across the country stand for a minute of silence to commemorate the fallen, Herzog says: “I ask myself, I ask us: what other country in the world has such a special sound? It is the sound of pain and of hope, of grief, and of pride. It is the sound of the State of Israel.”
“A sound that calls on us to pause for a moment, to lock in the sanctity, to remember and to connect — together. This year, in the grips of these days of discord, this sound is more powerful, more searing, more pained and more painful than ever.”
“This year, more than ever before, this sound calls on us, in the heart of the stillness that cries out: all of us, together! Their sacrifice has not been in vain; it shall not have been in vain.”
“I appeal to you, my brothers and sisters, citizens of Israel, at this sacred moment, from here, the wall of longing and tears, from which the Divine Presence has never moved, and I ask us to mourn and grieve — together; may we let that feeling of longing envelop us — together. May we let that sound of our collective pain ring loudly on this Memorial Day, free of discord, as we cry for our sons and daughters. As we refuse to find comfort, for they are no more.”
Herzog has been leading efforts at dialogue, amid widespread protests to the government’s judicial overhaul plans.