by: Janet Aslin
Monday, 13 September 2021 | This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on American soil—the Al Qaeda suicide bombing of New York’s Twin Towers and subsequent deaths of nearly 3,000 with another 6,000 injured.
Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East, understands suicide terrorism on a first-hand basis. Therefore it is no surprise that there were two separate ceremonies held in Israel to commemorate the tragedy.
The first was organized by Keren Kayemet LeIsrael–Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), the Jewish National Fund–USA and the US embassy who held a joint memorial ceremony at the 9/11 Living Memorial plaza, located in the Azarim Valley near Jerusalem.
The Living Memorial plaza, which covers five acres, contains a 30-foot monument in the shape of an American flag which is transformed into a flame at its tip. The names of the victims, who included five Israeli citizens, can be found on the circular wall. This is the only location outside the United States where the complete list of victims is memorialized in such a monument.
The second memorial event, headed by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, took place at the Foreign Ministry’s flag pavilion. A number of dignitaries from the US and Israel looked on as the US flag was lowered to half-mast, and later raised, by US Marines.
Lapid addressed those present: “As we mark 20 years since that terrible day, I want to send a message to the people of the United States and all those who seek to harm them: An attack on America, is an attack on us. We share the same values of freedom. Of equality. Of tolerance. And we share the same enemies. America is our greatest friend and ally. An attack on our friends, is an attack on us.”
The attacks of 9/11 were a wake-up call to America and to the world as well—suicide terror attacks were not confined to the region of the Middle East and concentrated on the tiny nation of Israel. Twenty years have passed but the need to fight the war against terror is as great today as it was then.
As the flag was raised during the Foreign Ministry’s ceremony, US Chargé d’Affaires Michael Ratney stated: “We recall how America and its friends and allies and partners—most definitely including Israel—recovered from that initial shock to deliver a new, concerted, global drive against terrorism.”
Once again, by marking the anniversary of 9/11, Israel has demonstrated her firm commitment to her relationship with the United States. As FM Lapid avowed, “America is our greatest friend and ally. An attack on our friends, is an attack on us.”
The war against terror is not over.
Posted on September 13, 2021
Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 13, 2021)
Photo Credit: Michio Nagata/bridgesforpeace.com
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