4 Pinoys, terror victims honored on Israel’s Memorial Day

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
4 Pinoys, terror victims honored on Israel�s Memorial Day
People walk around the ruins of a building destroyed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on October 8, 2023. Fighting between Israeli forces and the Palestinian militant group Hamas raged on October 8, with hundreds killed on both sides after a surprise attack on Israel prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to warn they were "embarking on a long and difficult war".
AFP / Mohammed Abed

MANILA, Philippines — The four Filipino caregivers murdered in the Oct. 7 attacks last year in Israel, fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks were remembered during the observance of Israel’s Memorial Day on Tuesday.

The Israeli embassy in Manila held a ceremony to commemorate Yom HaZikaron – Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers and the victims of terror attacks.

“This year’s commemoration remembers not only the Israeli fallen soldiers and civilians, but also the four loyal and brave Filipino caregivers who were murdered by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7,” the embassy said.

On its Memorial Day, Israel remembered the 25,040 fallen soldiers and 5100 civilians murdered by terrorists, wherein 760 soldiers (including policemen, security services and security team members of the kibbutzim) and 834 civilians were killed this year alone. Around 203 foreign nationals were murdered by terrorists, 68 of them this year.

Prayers and a moment of silence were offered to remember the Israeli fallen soldiers and civilians, including Filipino caregivers Angelyn Aguirre, Loreta Alacre, Grace Cabrera and Paul Vincent Castelvi.

The embassy also honored the late Sgt. Cydrick Garin, a Filipino-Israeli who served in the Israel Defense Forces and was killed in action early this year.

“Today is an opportunity to recognize OFWs in Israel. Most of them are still in our country, and they feel at home and loyal to their employers. Aside from OFWs, Filipino volunteers are in Israel to express unity with Israel during this difficult time. I could feel the spirit of support and solidarity among our friends from the Philippines,” Ambassador Ilan Fluss said.

This year is the first observance of Memorial Day and Independence Day while Israel is at war. On Oct. 7, more than 1,200 casualties were recorded – the highest number of Jews murdered in one day since the Holocaust. The atrocities include sexual violence, kidnapping, mutilation and other unimaginable acts. To date, 132 Israelis are still held in captivity by Hamas in Gaza.

“Most of the people in Israel, especially the family and loved ones of the hostages, are not in the mood for celebration. Israel continues its efforts to bring the hostages back home,” Fluss said.

Israel Memorial Day was held in Manila on May 13 and its 76th Independence Day on May 14.

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