"The Yom Kippur War was a turning point in Israel's history," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak at a memorial service for the 1973 war's victims on Thursday.
"The force of the siren that broke the sanctity of Yom Kippur in just one second echoes to this day and bears a clear message – it is our duty to maintain absolute security at all times, not foster false hopes, ambitions and dreams. When faced with the ultimate test, we can rely on no one but ourselves," he said.
"Our best sons will be sent to the battlefield only when there is no other choice," Barak pledged but stressed, "Nevertheless, we shall embark on any campaign if necessary – even at a painful cost."
"The region around us is on fire. The IDF and security forces are ready for any challenge, be it near or afar."
The annual memorial ceremony for the victims of the Yom Kippur War was held in Jerusalem's Mount Herzl and attended by bereaved families, Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger, former Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and General Staff senior officers.
The Yom Kippur War was the largest of the Israel-Arab wars in terms of the scale of the forces involved and the amount of artillery used. A total of 2,569 IDF troops were killed, some 7,500 were injured and 301 fell captive and were later returned to Israel.
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