Israel holds official annual memorial service for the IDF (Zahal) soldiers who fell in battle during the 1973 Yom Kippur War
Date: 09/10/2011, 4:51 PM Author: Avihai Chiim
On Sunday (October 9), Israel held the annual official memorial service to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
During that conflict which took place 38 years ago, 2,689 IDF (Zahal) soldiers lost their lives. Today living in Israel, there are 1,226 orphans, 810 widows and 880 bereaved parents as a result of the Yom Kippur War.
The memorial service was attended by government ministers, Knesset members and a number of IDF (Zahal) generals, including Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz.
“Everyone remembers the moment that the war began,” said Homefront Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, speaking on behalf of the government. “The moment [the war broke out] became a moment that changed the state of Israel. For bereaved families, the siren remains in the air, marking the anxiety over the fate of their loved ones at the front.”
“Unfortunately, the Yom Kippur War was not the last war,” Vilnai continued. “The struggle for Israel’s security has not ended. From a military perspective, the IDF (Zahal) gained the upper hand, and the victory of the people’s army, its soldiers and commanders, saved the state of Israel. This victory, from a historical perspective, paved the way for [future peace treaties] and the recognition that Israel cannot be defeated on the battlefield.”
Vilnai offered condolences to bereaved families in the name of the government.