JNF Wire: 9/11 Anniversary Marked in Jerusalem
September 11, 2015
Adam H. Brill, Director of Communications
9/11 ANNIVERSARY MARKED IN JERUSALEM
By: June Glazer
Israel held a formal ceremony yesterday to mark the 14th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the first since the opening of One World Trade Center in New York City last November. The event included dignitaries from the U.S., Israel, and abroad.
Israel’s 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza has been the site of similar annual ceremonies since it opened in 2009, and it is the only memorial outside of the U.S. that includes the names of the nearly 3,000 victims who died that day, including five Israelis.
“Limestone and granite, bronze and aluminum, in its powerful, aching beauty [this memorial] stands as a concrete symbol of the deep solidarity between the American and Israeli people,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro said in his remarks there. “Where else but in Israel can we Americans mourn our fellow citizens struck down by terrorists, surrounded by friends who know—truly know—our pain.” The Ambassador described the memorial as “an elegant testimony to the United States’ and Israel’s shared values and determination to honor those who have fallen unjustly, and to our commitment to assuring a safer future.”
Jewish National Fund's (JNF) 9/11 Living Memorial, donated by Edward Blank and designed by award-winning Israeli artist Eliezer Weishoff, is a 30-foot high bronze sculpture of a waving American flag that morphs into a memorial flame. It rests on a gray granite base, which includes a metal beam from the original Twin Towers. Surrounding the memorial is a circular stone-tiled plaza, funded by the Bronka Stavsky Rabin Weintraub Trust. It offers visitors a place to reflect upon their thoughts and memories. The monument is strategically located within view of Jerusalem's main cemetery, Har HaMenuchot.
In Washington D.C., JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson said, “Set against the magnificent backdrop of Jerusalem, the Living Memorial is a moving site from which to mourn the victims of 9/11 as well as consider the thousands of victims of terrorism worldwide. This is a place for visiting dignitaries -- presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors, and citizens of the world -- to come together to remember, reflect and heal. More than anything we hope that this Living Memorial will remind us to reaffirm our commitment to tolerance, the unity of mankind, and democracy.”
In his remarks, Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations who now serves as Israel’s Foreign Ministry director-general, called the attacks on September 11 “intercivilizational,” explaining that they were an attempt by extremists to defeat and destroy Western civilization.
“The Twin Towers represented an important part of America’s economic strength, and while Jerusalem doesn’t have the economic strength of the Twin Towers, building this memorial here is extremely appropriate because the city is the source of the spiritual legacy of Western civilization,” Dr. Gold told the gathering, which included family members of the five Israelis who perished that day.
The ceremony concluded with the laying of wreaths at the foot of the monument by American, Israeli, and foreign representatives. Afterwards, Ambassador Shapiro reflected on the day in light of the current strain in the relationship between America and Israel: “I think a day like the day on which we remember the victims of 9/11 is one that underscores the solidarity and partnership of the United States and Israel. We both have been through terrible terrorist attacks, both have lost loved ones, we are in the fight together against the same enemies who perpetrated these attacks, and we stand for the same values of society—the value of life and the value of rights and freedom. So that’s what today reminds us of, and while we will have our disagreements from time to time, the things that unite us are much stronger.”
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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.
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