Trump Administration: Remarks at Yad Vashem
(May 23, 2017)
President Donald Trump spoke at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Israel during his first international trip as President in May 2017. Please find the full text of his remarks below.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Sara Netanyahu, Chairman Avner Shalev, and Rabbi Israel Meir Lau for hosting us for this moving wreath-laying ceremony.
We are here at Yad Vashem to honor the memory of six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Two-thirds of the Jews in Europe were sent to their deaths. Words can never describe the bottomless depths of that evil, or the scope of the anguish and destruction.
It was history’s darkest hour. Millions of innocent, wonderful and beautiful lives -- men, women and children -- were extinguished as part of a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people. It was the most savage crime against God and his children. And it is our solemn duty to remember, to mourn, to grieve and to honor every single life that was so cruelly and viciously taken.
As Elie Wiesel said: “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” These words should be carved into the conscience of humanity forever. Only when we remember the families who were torn apart from everyone they loved, who suffered that terrible darkness and evil, who endured the unbearable horror of the Holocaust -- only then can we prevent this agony from ever repeating.
This place, and this entire nation, are a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people -- and the hope that light can shine the path beyond the darkness. Through persecution, oppression, death, and destruction, the Jewish people have persevered. They have thrived. They’ve become so successful in so many places. And they have enlightened the world. The State of Israel is a strong and soaring monument to the solemn pledge we repeat and affirm: Never again.
From the depths of the suffering, the Jewish people have built a mighty nation -- and the Star of David waves proudly above this cherished land.
As long as we refuse to be silent in the face of evil, as long as we refuse to dim the light of truth in the midst of darkness, as long as we refuse to become bystanders to barbarity, then we know that goodness, peace and justice will ultimately prevail.
With sadness for the lives and dreams that were stolen from this Earth, with determination to always keep the memories of the victims alive, and with resolve to confront evil wherever it threatens, we ask God to give us the strength, wisdom and courage to chart the righteous path.
Thank you. God bless the memory of the perished. God bless the survivors. God bless the Jewish people. And God bless the State of Israel. Thank you for having me. Thank you.