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Israel Honors WWII Vets 70 Years After V-E Day

May 8, 1945, is remembered as V-E Day, when the Allied forces at last defeated the Nazi regime in Europe. 70 years later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin honored the Jewish veterans of WWII:

Israeli leaders marked the 70th anniversary of the allied victory over Nazi Germany on Thursday evening, with President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu honoring US, British and Russian Jewish war vets at a ceremony at the IDF tank memorial in Latrun…

“Around one and a half million Jews served in the Second World War, around eight percent of the entire Jewish population, and around half a million of whom, fell in battle,” Rivlin said at the ceremony. “Jewish servicemen fell as submarine commanders, fighter pilots, tank and infantry commanders, in the engineers and artillery corps, riflemen and regular soldiers. In every branch of the military, of each army which fought against the Nazis, were found decorated and dedicated Jewish heroes…”

The World War II vets at the ceremony were a link in the chain connecting the Maccabees of Jewish history to the future, “faces of the soldiers and commanders of the Israel Defense Forces,” the president said. “You are all links in the intricate chain of Jewish heroes, whose roots are in the pages of the Bible, and whose responsibility today, is to the defense of the people and land of Israel.”

“You have taught them the secret of heroism and humanity, the ethics of battle, and bravery,” Rivlin said. “Your tremendous valor, dear veterans, is deserving of a fitting commemoration.”

Netanyahu also spoke at the ceremony…The lesson learned from the Second World War and the Holocaust “was that we must be capable, prepared and able to defend ourselves by ourselves against any threat. That is the lesson of 70 years since the victory over Nazism.”

Tags: US-Israel Relations , History , Israel

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