On May 8th, 2019, a ceremony was held for the fallen of the 53rd Battalion of Givati Brigade.
The ceremony was held at the Giv’at HaGdud, in the presence of family members, friends, soldiers and commanders, representatives of nearby towns and pupils.
Speakers at the ceremony included Mr. Oded Negbi – Chairman of the 53rd Battalion Association, Mr. Itzhak Levit – Chairman of The Givati Brigade Association and Dan Segev, representative of the bereaved families.
In the Independence War, fell 145 commanders and soldiers of the Battalion.
Attached are the remarks of the Chairman of the Givati Brigade Association during the ceremony.
Dear bereaved families, friends honoring the memory of the fallen, commanders and soldiers of Givati, representatives of the communities nearby, pupils of Mevo’ot Be’er Tuvia School distinguished guests:
We gathered here again to be together with the memory of your loved ones.
We are still in the midst of our 70th year of independence, a year in which we can look back proudly at the unattainable achievements of our country, and at the same time turn a sober look into the future.
This week Hamas launched 700 rockets, The Iranian still trying to keep their crazy plan to develop nuclear capabilities, Hizbullah making failed attempts to infiltrate through tunnels from the northern border and sow death, Hamas “blowing” thousands of scavengers and balloons from Gaza Strip, and more and more … They will continue to burn billions in vain attempts to remove us from our land, and we will continue to invest billions in the economic, security, spiritual and social fortunes of our country, and they will never manage to undermine our hands….
Dear Oded, I take off my hat, not only because of your loyalty and diligence in preparing the ceremony, but also because of your unceasing perseverance to bequeath to future generations the legacy of Givati.
I take this opportunity to thank Mizrahi, Yehudit and Shlomi, the devoted employees of our association, who for many years have spent days and nights working for the Givati Brigade and the association activities.
On this occasion, I would also like to share with you some of the activities of the Association, which I assume most of you are unaware of:
About a month ago, after a process that lasted almost a year, we published a spectacular book commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Givati Brigade. The book expresses, above all, the values that have been the guiding force of the Brigade through the generations.
We have set up a new Internet site in Hebrew and English, which provides all the necessary information about the Brigade and the Association. You can visit the website at www.givati.org.il.
At the beginning of the year we also launched the Givati archive throughout the years, which can be accessed via the same website.
During these months we are working on a project to upgrade and expand the amphitheater in the fortress so that it can accommodate the number of participants in the various ceremonies of the brigade.
We are in the process of rehabilitating the eastern wing of the fortress in order to turn it into an educational hall that will be designated first and foremost for the Brigade educational activities. We are making every effort until this summer the project will be completed.
Now I would like to quote from the words of Eitam Almadon, the brother of Staff Sergeant Amitai Almadon, who served in the Givati battalion Tzabar, and the son of Yoram Almadon, a member of the organization’s board of directors.
The article was written yesterday in Israel Today newspaper.
“To be a bereaved brother is to know that the memorial day is for everyone but the bereaved family, we don’t need a reminder.
To be a bereaved brother is to look at your brother’s picture, which you didn’t know, and imagine for a moment that he is looking back at you with a wide smile and bright eyes.
Being a bereaved brother is not to know what the Memorial Day ceremony looks like at school, because at the same time you must gather in the military cemetery together with tens of thousands of families who shed tears on the graves of their loved ones.
To be a bereaved brother is to meet your brother’s friends from childhood, youth and the army, to look into the eyes of their children and to hurt the husband and father that he will never be.
I was born a year and four months after my brother Amitai fell ill in clashes with Hizbullah terrorists in southern Lebanon on August 29, 1996.
I did not get to know Amitai, but I was born into his story and his image will be forever locked in my heart.”
I would like to end my remarks by mentioning our moral obligation to mention Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, an officer in the Givati reconnaissance unit, and Sergeant Shaul Oron of Golani, whose bodies are still in the hands of the Hamas terrorists, and hope, together with all of Israel, that the efforts to bring them back will bear fruit.
The number of fallen soldiers of Givati since its inception in 1983 – 222 (since the previous memorial day 3 additional soldiers were added – Staff Sergeant Lubton Nir, St.-Sgt. Aviv Levi and St.-Sgt. Daniel Rafael).
The number of fallen soldiers since 1860 stands at 23,741, 56 fallen soldiers were added this year.
The total number of Givati Brigade fallen soldiers (including Shaked reconnaissance unit) – 885
The battalion also includes 15 civilians who fought alongside them, totaling 145.
Let no more soldiers be added to the count of the fallen.
The Givati Brigade Association