Have mercy on me, O Hashem, have mercy on me, for I seek refuge in You, I seek refuge in the shadow of Your wings, until danger passes. Psalms 57:2 (The Israel Bible)
At the only living memorial, inscirbed with all the names of the 9/11 victims outside of the United States, KKL-JNF commemorated 17 years since the terrorist attacks that occurred at New York City’s World Trade Center and Arlington’s Pentagon at the hands of Al-Qaeda nihilists.
Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF) and the US Embassy in Israel held their annual memorial ceremony to honor those who perished.
The memorial ceremony highlighted the shared values between Israel and the United States – freedom, peace, unity and countering terrorism.
At the memorial ceremony, US Ambassador to Israel, H.E. David Friedman, reflected on the beauty of the plaza and reminded the families of those lost – and to 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.”
Similarly, JNF-USA Chief Israel Officer, Mr. Eric Michaelson, maintained that JNF is just one of the links between the people of the United States and Israel, contributing the 9/11 Living Memorial which “stands as a bright beacon of the shared values and brotherhood of both our nations; as we look past even the darkest times and remain standing together, giving each other the strength to continue building a better world for the future.”
Also present at the ceremony was KKL-JNF Vice Chairman, Mr. Yair Lootsteen; Member of Knesset Nachman Shai, Israeli families who lost loved ones in the attack, as well as a special delegation from the US, including United Airlines pilots, firefighters and police officers.
Marine soldiers marched in the beginning of the ceremony while distinguished guests laid flowers and wreaths in honor of those who perished.
According to the event press release, the 9/11 Living Memorial was established in 2009 by KKL-JNF and JNF-USA. Israeli artist Eliezer Weishoff and KKL-JNF landscape architect Yechiel Cohen created the memorial’s thirty-foot-high bronze sculpture, which portrays the American flag folded into the shape of a memorial flame. A metal shard from the ruins of the Twin Towers is incorporated into the base of the monument.
As memorial guests looked towards a magnificent view of the Jerusalem Hills and the Arazim Valley, Lootsteen looked toward the future, declaring that the monument acts as a commitment “to all the victims, survivors and their families” to plant and grow “in a place where some wished to disrupt, uproot and tear apart.”
“Here,” he said, “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.”