What's New

Your tax-deductible
donation should
be made to:
 Friends of the
which is a
501(c) 3

20 N. Wacker Drive
Suite #2020
Chicago, IL


  Speech from Gabi Ladowski, David Diego's brother,
    during the Yom Hazikaron memorial service, sponsored
    by the Consulate General of Israel in Chicago.  April 30, 2017.

Gabi Ladowski; speech; Yom Hazikaron; David Diego Ladowski Memorial Fund

Good evening, It’s a great honor to be speaking here and I would like to thank the Consul General of Israel, Aviv Ezra, and the staff at the consulate for inviting my family and me to be part of this memorial service.

My name is Gabi Ladowski and as we do every year, we gather today to observe another Yom Hazikaron.

We’re honoring the memory of 23,544 fallen soldiers and 3,117 victims of terrorism. A couple of months ago, and thanks to the Consulate, I met some bereaved families. Each one shared the sad and painful story about their loved ones. There are about 9,500 bereaved families. That gives you an actual perspective of what today is about.

In Israel, during Yom Hazikaron at 11:00 a.m., everyone stops what they are doing. People get out of buses; cars pull over to the side of the road, as sirens bring life to a halt for a whole 2 minutes. They stop to remember.

They stop to honor the fallen and the brave. Those who fought to defend our freedom and those who fell as victims of coward terrorist attacks.

Sadly, and with so much pain for my family and me, in addition to all those souls that we remember today, we remember my brother.

His name was David Diego Ladowski z”l. A diplomat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who died when a bomb planted by a terrorist exploded in the cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, on July 31, 2002. 9 People died, 85 people were injured.

David Diego was a man of peace. He served in the army and he completed his service as an academic officer where he obtained the rank of lieutenant.

Later on, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but he never forgot about all the great people he met while he was in the army.

Right before he died, he had been appointed to serve as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Lima, Peru.

I could tell you so many great things about him, and the things he wanted to do to make this world a better place. For that reason, and to continue with his legacy, my family and I created a fund where we give every year scholarships to students of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since we started and thanks to many generous contributors, we were able to award 98 scholarships to students of the School of Public Policy.

As we honor all those who have died, there’s something very important that we all have to remember. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is formed by sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, who risk their lives every day, to ensure peace and tranquility in the land of Israel. Many people don’t understand that what they do is crucial, not only for the region but also for the world. They defend a way of life. They stand up for what is right and protect us from those who terrorize and kill innocent people and die for a false cause.

In a different way, the same goes to those who work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who, in many cases, also put their lives at risk in the name of peace and progress. They bring worlds and cultures together. They go to great lengths enabling Israel’s greatest resources, knowledge, culture, technology, and know-how to all peoples, regardless of nationality, race, gender or religion. A true example of Humanity at its best.

They do it with pride, dignity, and respect for human life and values. We have to be very grateful to all of them as they have a huge responsibility in those hands. To ensure that every year during Yom Hazikaron, we have fewer deaths to remember and more life to celebrate.

Zechor Tzaddik veKadosh LeVaracha.

May the memory of the righteous and the holy be a blessing.

Thank you and Shalom.

Gabi Ladowski; speech; Yom Hazikaron; David Diego Ladowski Memorial Fund

Gabi Ladowski; speech; Yom Hazikaron; David Diego Ladowski Memorial Fund

  © 2002-2017 Gabriel H. Ladowski