Four names were added to memorial plaques at an annual ceremony in honor of the American and Canadian immigrants and their relatives who have given their lives for the State of Israel.
The Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI) held its annual ceremony in memory of the more than 300 Americans and Canadians who have sacrificed their lives for the State of Israel. Four names were added to the memorial plaques this year: three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, who was killed when a Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into a Jerusalem light rail stop, and Rabbis Aryeh Kupinsky, Kalman Zev Levine and Moshe Twersky, who were murdered in the Har Nof Massacre in Jerusalem.
The memorial took place at Canada Park outside of Jerusalem. The park contains a forest planted after the Six Day War in 1967 in honor of the North American immigrants who fell in Israel’s wars. The memorial plaques in the forest include the names of 335 Americans and Canadians who have died in wars, defensive actions and terrorist attacks beginning with the 1920 Battle of Tel Hai.
“When someone is killed, there’s no difference between English speakers and non-English speakers,” said AACI National President Julian Landau, whose son Yair fell in the First Lebanon War in 1982. “But we feel, as representatives of the English-speaking community in Israel, that we should honor those who lost their lives, both soldiers and victims of terror, who sacrificed their lives so we can live here.”
Rabbi Jay Karzen, AACI’s National Memorial Committee co-chairman, said, “There’s no time that we experience the death of a loved one through violence that isn’t painful because we’re all family, and when a family member falls, we are all mourning.”
“Every year, we say may next year be the year that we do not add any more names, but we never make it,” he added. “May this year be the year. May it be a violence-free and peaceful year.”
Wreaths were laid at the ceremony by IDF Lt. Col. Beni Brosh of Israeli Home Front Command and by Cmdr. Sean Maxwell of the Defense Attache Office of the US Embassy, among others.
By: Sara Abramowicz, United with Israel