Yesterday, members of the IDF visited Yad Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial, as the Jewish state prepares to observe Yom HaShoah:
Members of the IDF general staff attended the annual symposium on the topic of Holocaust remembrance on Monday. During the course of the day, the military officials visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and held a commemoration ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance. They met with author Aharon Appelfeld, a Holocaust survivor, and visited the Zigfried Mozes Old Age Home in Jerusalem, which is operated by the Association of Israelis of Central Europe Origin. The visit was part of an ongoing project named "Flowers for Survivors" in which IDF soldiers regularly visit Holocaust survivors in their homes.
Among the visitors to the retirement home were IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and the chairwoman of the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, former minister Limor Livnat. The two were paired with Holocaust survivor Tamar Landau. "The ranks of the IDF have included many survivors of the Holocaust," Eizenkot said. "They fought in the War of Independence and in Israel's [subsequent] wars, blazing the trail that the IDF still follows to this day."
He went on to say that "as IDF commanders,it is our duty to instill in all the soldiers of the IDF the enormity of the responsibility they bear -- to carry the torch of remembrance of the survivors of the Holocaust and the victims of the Holocaust for many years to come, and to pass it on to future generations. Ensuring the existence and security of the State of Israel is our way of perpetuating their choice -- by choosing life."