JERUSALEM, Israel - As America mourned the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Israel mourned with her.
In Jerusalem, several US and Israeli delegations of first responders, United Airlines pilots, Israeli families who lost loved ones in the attack, ambassadors, and other diplomats gathered together to remember the nearly 3,000 lives that were violently taken by 19 terrorist hijackers.
The Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF) and the US Embassy in Israel held the annual memorial ceremony at Israel's 9/11 Living Memorial Monument. It is the only 9/11 memorial in the Middle East and the only monument outside of the US to include the names of every single victim.
"We stood together in solidarity on 9/11 and we knew that terrorism could not defeat us. Standing here today at this beautiful memorial, we all recall that terrible day in 2001 and we honor the memory of the victims. In their honor, let us also reaffirm our sense of solidarity and commitment to our most cherished values. That will be the lasting legacy of 9/11," said US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Established in 2009 by the KKL-JNF and JNF-USA, the monument features the American flag folded into the shape of a memorial flame. The base of the monument includes a metal shard from the ruins of the Twin Towers.
"This monument is a symbol of flourishing, of life, of continuity and of the strong bond that KKL-JNF and Israel as a whole hold with the US. Here we choose, each year, to take an oath to those who perished – to do all we can to build an even better tomorrow for future generations," explained KKL-JNF Vice Chairman Yair Lootsteen.
The night before 9/11, two beams of light shot up nearly 1,000 feet into the Jerusalem sky. For the first time, Israel joined the US in lighting the "Tribute in Light", a special memorial that first began at Ground Zero in New York.
.@USAmbIsrael and @SecWilkie represented the United States at yesterday's "Tribute in Light" ceremony at the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza in Jerusalem. Israel is the only country outside the United States with a memorial listing the names of all who were lost. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/ujOYzpqzLC
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) September 11, 2019
JNF-USA Affiliates Director Yael Levontin said the tribute "is an invitation for all to join our mission to be an agent for change in the world."