Barak: Telling story of our journey
Photo: Yaron Brener
Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced Sunday the establishment of a memorial for the fallen IDF soldiers on Mount Herzl, on the eve of Israel's Memorial Day, 30 years after it was first envisioned by the State.
At the event marking the memorial's founding Barak said, "In the spirit of respect, treasuring, and commitment to the memory and legacy of the fallen, a hall dedicated to the memory of Israel's fallen soldiers will be established here."
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He said large tablets would be carved with the names of all the soldiers, and that areas would be provided in order to light memorial candles on the anniversaries of their deaths.
"The establishment of a memorial on this mountain, Mount Herzl, is not a coincidence," Barak said.
"The memorial hall will join a long list of sites which tell the story of our journey from the Holocaust to revival in our generation: The grave of the Zionist visionary within the plot of the nation's great heroes, Yad Vashem, a testimony victorious over Holocaust deniers, and in the center, the military cemetery, within which a line of headstones stands as a testimony to the necessary price, the price paid with blood, of the sovereignty of Israel on this land, in this generation."
The State has been incapable of establishing the memorial for many years, despite large funds allotted to it. The state comptroller wrote in an annual report in the late 90s that in 1980 the government decided to establish the memorial on Mount Eitan, near Jerusalem, but that the decision was postponed by later governments.
In 1993 the Justice Ministry prepared a bill on the establishment of the memorial, in order to anchor it within the law, but it was not approved and in 1995 the government of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin decided to postpone a vote on the matter.