Order of the Day-Memorial Day 1999

ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES

Order of the Day Issued by
The Chief of the IDF General Staff LTG. Shaul Mofaz
on the Occasion of Memorial Day, 20 April 1999

Soldiers and Officers of the IDF,

On this Memorial Day for fallen soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, we stand united with all citizens of Israel in paying tribute to the memories of those dearest to us, our friends, our sons and daughters, who fell before their time, in the long, protracted war to realize our independence and security in the State of Israel.

Each year on this day, as we walk through our nation’s cemeteries, we remember, with great pain and sorrow, the many faces of our loved ones, our partners, our comrades-in-arms who fell in the line of duty: in battle, military operations, in training, in accidents and in security missions. Their loss permeates our lives. The families whom they left behind are overcome with pain and longing. We, the soldiers and officers of the IDF, feel the loss of each and every soldier from whom we were forced to depart prematurely. The pain we feel is permanent and unyielding. The wounds of loss refuse to heal. We are all left with a deep scar; a scar which widens with the failing of each son. Even today we must continue to fight to secure our right to live peacefully in our country. Even today our sons are required to perform the most difficult of missions, to engage in ardent combat against the enemy. To our great sorrow, these missions demand a heavy price. The family of bereavement has grown, as young men whose lives have been cut short, are added to the ranks of the fallen.

The IDF continues to march forward along the path blazed by the fallen soldiers, the path in which we all believe, the only one leading to security. These soldiers did not sacrifice their lives in vain. They fought for the peace and security of the citizens of Israel. We, the soldiers and officers of the Israel Defense Forces, shall strive tirelessly to reach this goal, for we have no other country. Only a people who fights for its peace and security, and who believes in the rightness of its way, will be able to prevail against the most difficult challenges.

On this Memorial Day, the IDF salutes its fallen, and bows its head in reverent memory. The IDF comforts and embraces the bereaved families. Let us all pray that their numbers will not grow and that peace will be upon us soon.

LTG Shaul Mofaz
Chief of the Israel Defense Forces General Staff.