While news headlines about Israel often focus on conflict and adversity, there is much to celebrate and admire about the Jewish state, which is celebrating its 63rd year. In its short history, Israel has flourished and thrived as an open and free democracy and a homeland for the Jewish people. Expressing the principles on which it was founded, Israel is a vibrant democracy with a thriving economy and internationally recognized achievements in the fields of green and computer technology, medicine, and agriculture. This past year, Israel was one of the first countries on the ground in Haiti providing vital medical aid of those in the impoverished country ravaged by a destructive earthquake.
While we celebrate these accomplishments, there is a sadness in our hearts for the young men and women who gave their lives over the past six-plus decades to protect the Jewish State—it is because of their sacrifice that Israel has achieved so much. We also remember the thousands of victims of terror and the unthinkable loss their families have endured.
Today, we honor all of their memories.