President Obama and the American Jewish Community

Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Terrorist Attacks at the Munich Olympic Games

Friends below please find a statement by the President as read by United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom Lou Sussman at a memorial ceremony held for the victims of the terrorist attacks forty years ago at the Munich Olympic Games. The ceremony was hosted by the Israeli Olympic Committee at the Israeli Embassy in London.

Today, the United States is proud to stand in solemn remembrance with the Israeli people to remember the eleven Israeli athletes who were killed forty years ago. The passage of time cannot dim the memory of the hope and promise that those members of the Israeli Olympic team embodied, just as time does not dull the horror at the brutal terrorist attack that took their lives.
The Israeli citizens who were lost stood for what is best about their nation, and the Olympic movement. They excelled at wrestling and weightlifting, fencing and running.  They were citizens of a young democracy in the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. And let us always remember that they were fathers and sons, husbands and brothers, and their loss left an empty space in families, communities, and a country that will never forget them.
While the United States supported a moment of silence in their honor, we welcome any effort to recall the terrible loss that was suffered in Munich, and the lives of those who were lost. Let us rededicate ourselves to a world that represents the hopes of those athletes, and not the hate of those who took their lives. Let us support the families who have endured forty years without their loved ones. And let us reaffirm the bonds between the United States, Israel, and all those around the world who strive for a world of peace and justice. 
Jarrod Bernstein is the Director of Jewish Outreach in the Office of Public Engagement.

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