Monday, May 16, 2011

State Ceremony Marks VE Day

Yad Vashem marked the Allied Victory over Nazi Germany in an inspiring and moving ceremony. Partisans and Veterans decorated with medals stood proud as the IDF Chief Cantor Lt. Col. Shai Abramson sang the traditional prayer of thanks, and the The Israeli Police Orchestra, conducted by Inspector Eitan Sobol played a medley of patriotic songs.

“We are gathered here in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the place to which Jews yearned for over two thousand years, in order to mark the victory of the Allied forces over Nazi Germany, and to salute Jewish bravery,” said Ehud Barak, Israeli Minister of Defense. “My brothers - veterans and partisans - as the Minister of Defense of the State of Israel, I salute you.You have fought not only for your own lives, but also for the future of the Jewish people, and the future of all humanity.”

Chairman of Yad Vashem, Avner Shalev, spoke about the special role of Jews who fought for the Allies. “The fighting of Jews was unique. As citizens they fought in order to defend their countries against a cruel enemy. But they have also fought for their personal and collective existence, on behalf of the entire Jewish people."

Captain Vadim Kornblitt, grandson of a veteran of the Red Army, drew a connection between the past, the future and the present. “It is a great honor to be here today among you. Among decorated soldiers and heros. We cherish you and will continue to tell your story - to embrace your heritage….I am proud to follow in your footsteps. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve the State of Israel and to defend you.”

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