Monday, September 14, 2020 12:00 PM
In a first for Israel’s official September 11 commemoration, the annual wreath laying ceremony was held online, with participants joining from all around the world. Members of the public were invited to lay a virtual rose to honor the memory of those who perished.
In light of the present COVID-19 restrictions in Israel, this year’s 9/11 memorial ceremony, held at KKL-JNF’s 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza in the Jerusalem hills, was broadcast online for the first time, allowing a broader audience from around the world participate.
The 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza
in the Jerusalem Hills was built by Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), in partnership with Jewish National Fund USA (JNF USA). Since its establishment in 2009, the Living Memorial Plaza has been the site of Israel’s official 9/11 commemoration ceremony, which is jointly conducted by KKL-JNF, JNF USA, and the US Embassy in Israel. This year, the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza went virtual. Its power was felt beyond Israel’s borders as people all over the world entered the virtual site to place roses in memory of those who died in the 9/11 attacks, with the option of commemorating a specific individual or the collective. The ceremony itself, which was held two days before the actual day, was broadcast on the social media platforms of KKL-JNF, JNF USA and the US Embassy, with people worldwide participating. Visitors placing virtual roses on the day of September 11 could watch the video of the ceremony.
Commenting on the unusual circumstances surrounding the ceremony, KKL-JNF World Chairman Daniel Atar
said, "The Coronavirus has put most of our lives on hold, setting restrictions that forced us to cancel this year's annual 9/11 ceremony, and instead create a memorable place for the public to participate. As always, I am proud of the strong bond that KKL-JNF, and Israel as a whole, share with the United States. Like in previous years, we choose to pledge to those who perished to do all we can to build an even better tomorrow for future generations.”
Highlighting the opportunity for connection on a global scale, JNF-USA President Dr. Sol Lizerbram
said, “The annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony reflects our role as the bridge between Israel and the United States of America, with JNF-USA’s affiliates and friends from all across Israel attending each year, demonstrating the unique bond we share with the State of Israel. While we are unable to physically join together in memory this year, we are grateful for the opportunity to share our program with the global community, and we are encouraged by the many who joined us in remembering the victims of this terrible tragedy.”