As Israel marks the 20th anniversary of the deadly terror attack at the Dolphinarium discotheque, dozens of family members and friends gathered on Tuesday to pay homage to the victims.
"The pain is neverending," said Irina Sklianik, mother of 15-year-old Yulia (Yael), who was murdered in the suicide bombing of the Tel Aviv beachfront club.
"In a place where parents bury their children, words lose all meaning. From our pain and shock, we want to thank all those who help and support us."
"On June 1, 2001, I lost the thing most precious to me," the grieving mother added. "All that is left are photos and memories. Memories of the first step, the first word, the first day in school. A memory of a life so short.
"My dear Yaeli, I want to hug and kiss you, to feel you, to laugh with you, to talk to you, to live with you. And you're just gone. All you wanted was to dance and laugh but fate thought otherwise, and it's not simple. Miss you, mom."
On June 1, 2001, a Hamas-affiliated terrorist blew himself up at the entrance to the seaside club, killing 21 young Israelis and wounding dozens more.
Many of the victims were immigrants from the former Soviet Union who were planning to attend a party at the club. Many of the victims also attended Shevah Mofet High School in Tel Aviv, which holds a separate memorial service every year.
Also attending the ceremony near the monument marking the location of the club near Tel Aviv's boardwalk was Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata.
"The young men and women who were murdered were our finest, who chose to fulfill the Zionist dream and immigrate to Israel," she said.
"They merely came here to enjoy themselves, asking only to dance and have fun. But instead of dancing and festivities, we here today mark 20 years in their memory and the lives that were lost."