President Reuven Rivlin met Monday evening in New York with parents of IDF Lone Soldiers from the United States who fell in battle during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza over the summer, the Government Press Office announced Tuesday, accompanied by his wife Nechama.
The President and his wife met with Evie and Stuart Steinberg, parents of Sgt. Max Steinberg, and Rachel and David Adir, parents of Lt. Liran Adir.
Max served in Golani, and fell in combat in the Gaza Strip. In an emotional tribute, over 30,000 Israelis attended his funeral in Jerusalem.
Liran served in the Armored Corps and also fell in combat in the Gaza Strip, just three weeks after he had married. He was also buried in Israel.
The families invited both Max and Liran’s parents to be his guests at the UN for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day Special Session now scheduled for Wednesday.
The President warmly embraced the parents and said, “The citizens of the State of Israel, and the Jewish people as a whole owe you a debt which can never be repaid."
"You have lost what was most precious to you," he continued. "You have endured the unthinkable, the loss of a child. We share in your grief, we share in your pain, and indeed, we share in your pride, that your dear children were dedicated to defending the Jewish people, and the Jewish homeland."
"Your children are our children, and we promise to preserve their brave legacy as defenders of the people and the country," he added.
David, father of Liran Adir, told the President and the First Lady about the great loss they had suffered, and how they missed their son.
“I cannot accept he is gone," he said.
Stuart, father of Max, said that “Max had a mission, and he followed that mission, and that is the feeling that I carry with me. If only I was able to undo what has happened, but I can’t and so I find comfort in that Max fulfilled his mission.”
Max’s mother, Evie, explained to the President how proud Max was to serve in – and wear the uniform of – the IDF.
“Max was always so tough, even though he was not so big. He always carried the heaviest of burdens, and never gave up, even with the most challenging of physical obstacles."
"I have saved all the messages he sent me, and find comfort in the knowledge of how much he loved the State of Israel,” she added.