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Israel Commemorates 9/11 Terror Attacks; “We Stand With Our Greatest Ally,” Says Netanyahu

Israeli leaders commemorated the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered [1] words of support during his weekly cabinet meeting. “Today we mark 15 years since the terrorist attacks on 9/11,” he said. “We remember the victims. We embrace their loved ones. We stand with our greatest ally, the United States of America, and with other partners in the battle against militant Islamic terrorism that spreads its fear, its dread, its murder, around the world. Our memories are long, our determination is boundless. Civilized societies must band together to defeat these forces of darkness, and I’m sure we will.”

2,996 people were killed when hijackers commandeered four airplanes on September 11, 2001. Two were flown into the World Trade Center in New York City, one was crashed into the Pentagon, and a fourth was brought down in western Pennsylvania when the plane’s passengers fought back against the hijackers.

United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro spoke [2] at a commemoration at the Jewish National Fund’s 9/11 memorial near Jerusalem. The memorial contains part of a steel beam that came from the World Trade Center.

Among those in attendance were a delegation of 15 American police officers and firefighters, some of whom were first responders on September 11. Hundreds of Israeli policemen also attended. “We could not be prouder to stand with our police colleagues here in Israel to commemorate that anniversary and to know that they share our grief and they remember those men and women who died tragically on that terrible day,” American delegation leader Craig Floyd told CNN.

Shapiro called the memorial a “testament to the bond between the American people and the people of Israel, and to our shared experience with tragedy.”

He also observed that because those who are now entering college or beginning military service have no clear memory of the 9/11 attacks, “our remembrances [now] mark the transition of 9/11 from living memory into history.” Israel, he said, was an example of how to keep memories alive: “Where Israelis have excelled, and where we continue to learn from them, is in conveying the power of memory and history forward, so that each successive generation understands the meaning and the obligations that flow from events which they cannot personally recall.”

[Photo: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv / Flickr ]