The only memorial outside the United States that names all of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks is in Israel. In view of that, it’s not surprising that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman highlighted the special bond between the countries at the recent annual ceremony marking 17 years since the attacks.
“In this beautiful plaza, at this inspiring location, we remind the families of those lost and we confirm to people everywhere, that we stand together—Americans and Israelis—and that together we continue to heal and to build, in a spirit of solidarity and commitment to the future,” said Friedman in comments published in a Jewish National Fund (JNF) press release. The memorial was held on September 6 due to 9/11 falling on the Biblical holiday of Rosh Hashanah (also known as the Jewish New Year) this year.
Friedman is a strong proponent of US-Israel ties and at a recent toast for Rosh Hashanah reiterated that sentiment. “This year, let us dedicate ourselves to building upon our great accomplishments, to making the US-Israel relationship even stronger, and to bringing peace, prosperity and security to the region,” said Friedman in a Twitter post recapping the Rosh Hashanah event.
American leaders regularly mark Jewish holidays, and Israelis have made a special effort to remember with the Americans the worst terror attack in US history.
In 2009, the JNF’s Israeli and American branches built the 30-foot-high bronze 9/11 memorial, which is in the form of an American flag shaped into a Jewish memorial flame used to honor loved ones who have died. Israel is a strong promoter of the importance of naming victims—most famously in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum—and so the JNF noted the unique listing of all the 9/11 victims in the memorial “reflects the shared values between Israel, the United States and the entire free world for peace and unity, and against terror.”
Yair Lootsteen, Vice Chairman of the JNF—which in Israel is known as the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF)—expressed a similar view to Friedman. “This monument holds with it a commitment to all the victims, survivors and their families. It is a commitment to plant and grow, in a place where some wished to disrupt, uproot and tear apart,” Lootsteen was quoted a saying in the press release.
“Here we choose, each year, to take an oath in the name of those who have lost their lives—to do all we can to build a better future for the next generations.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, September 9, 2018)