During the ceremony Ashkenazi related his family's story and his father's experience during the Holocaust. "Like all of Plovdiv residents his family too opened its door in 1943 finding Bulgarian police officers who ordered them to get ready to be deported from the country within hours.
"Together with 6,000 members of the community he too was placed in the school courtyard knowing full well where he was going. They knew the stories of the annihilation of Europe's Jews in the camps full well. They had no doubt they were heading to a place from which there was no return," Ashkenazi said.
The IDF chief said that his father escaped death at the last minute upon the revocation of the deportation order.
"In the name of my father and his family who dreamt of an independent sovereign state, and in the name of all the millions who never got to witness the realization of their dream I stand here today as the commander of the Jewish defending force, the Israel Defense Forces, and pledge on behalf of us all: We shall never again stand defenseless and in the mercy of others.
"Never again will Jewish children stare in fear begging to be spared. Never again will we let our enemies determine the fate of the Jewish people and we will able to protect our sons."