The memorial siren that wailed across Israel at 10 a.m. for two minutes to mark the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day was activated by a Holocaust survivor.
Reuven Eyal pushed the button on the siren system alongside his soldier granddaughter Shani Eyal, who serves in the Home Front Command unit responsible for the national alert system.
Eyal was born in Transylvania, Romania, in 1935. After moving to Israel in the wake of World War II, he served in the Israel Defense Forces for many years, eventually as head of the intelligence corps, during which he was involved in the 1981 operation to destroy a nuclear reactor in Iraq.
“The Holocaust is a defining event, following which many decided to immigrate to Israel — to a country where they feel safe,” Eyal says in a statement issued by the IDF. “It is important for me to convey to the younger generation that the future of the state is in their hands.”