Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Remembering the Munich Massacre
Israel commemorated the Munich Massacre of 1972 on Monday in a state ceremony attended by politicians, athletes and relatives of the fallen. Eleven Israel coaches and athletes and one German policeman were killed in the attack. "An entire country held its breath and watched, transfixed, as the El Al plane from Munich landed in our national airport, and out came the surviving athletes, silent and stunned, standing next to their friends who returned in coffins,” said Minister of Sport Limor Livnat, who spoke as the official government representative at the ceremony.
"The memory of the 11 athletes murdered in Munich is the pillar of fire leading the great camp of the children of light to overwhelming victory in their war against the children of darkness,” she said.
Michal Shahar, whose father Kehat Shorr was among those murdered in the attack, spoke on behalf of the bereaved families. Former Olympic swimmer Yoav Bruck spoke in the name of Israel's athletes.
Tzvi Varshaviack, Chairman of the Israeli Olympic Committee, said in a speech, “Thirty-seven years have passed since that black day, and it remains impossible to forget. Since then, Israeli athletes have continued to represent the state of Israel with pride and to make remarkable achievements. We will not let terrorism defeat us,” he said.
The memory of those slain in Munich remains in the Olympic Committee's consciousness, he added. “We will do whatever we can to perpetuate their memories,” he said.