An Everlasting Memorial

IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

“We are here today to say to you… we’ll continue with the same determination and dedication to be with you and strengthen you in any suffering that comes along,” said Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi to families of fallen soldiers.

Date: 18/10/2010, 8:29 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, participated Sunday (Oct. 17) in his last memorial ceremony as Chief of the General Staff, the erection of a new monument, a concentrated memorial of names of fallen Golani [one of the five combat units of the IDF (Zahal)] soldiers at the Golani juncture [in the Lower Galilee in Israel].

“I couldn’t think of a more meaningful place for this ceremony to take place, at this impressive monument that we, now, erect with you family members, combat soldiers and commanders,” opened Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi in his speech to the grieving families.

The walls of the new monument look like broken pieces of one big wall. The boards of names sticking out from each wall, protrude at different angles and look to visitors like broken pieces of the monument. Unlike traditional IDF (Zahal) monuments, this one for Golani soldiers was built as eight walls.

“The journey to this special position brings me back to memories from ‘my Golani’ [the Golani Brigade’s slogan] every year, the brigade which remains my home despite finishing my term as its commander over two decades ago,” said the Chief of the General Staff and continued, “the brigade is where moral sacrifices, the ability to give, values of friendship and professionalism were all tested, the ethical foundation for which commanders of the brigade and its soldiers throughout the battles fought. ‘My Golani’ is this meeting with you, family members, each and every one of you finding him or herself in a daily internal battle: the fight to deal with the loss of your loved ones and of our friends and at the same time to continue living, to build a life and to grow.”

Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi added, saying to the grieving families that “We are here today to say to you that in the same way that your sons and daughters acted and sacrificed in order to pave the way to peace and security, we’ll continue with the same determination and dedication to be with you and strengthen you in any suffering that comes along. This is our promise, this is our vow to the men and women who are no longer with us, and this is how we’ll carry forward.”

The Chief of the General Staff concluded, hoping for “the fast recovery of the wounded and the fast return of our sons, those taken captive and those lost, to their homes and to their loved ones.”