April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel will not lose faith in peace, Israeli President Shimon Peres said Sunday night at a memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers in wars and terrorist attacks.

"It is their (the fallen's) courage that give our people the strength to face the challenges ahead -- not to fear the enemy, not to cease building, not to lose faith in the peace to come. And it will come," Peres said at his speech in Jerusalem on the eve of the country's Memorial Day.

"We want to express our gratitude from the bottom of our hearts to the youths that are no more, whom you raised and in whom you instilled the values that made them into what they were until their last breath," Peres said to the bereaved families during the ceremony, after lightening a memorial flame at the Western Wall plaza.

At 8 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) Sunday, main ceremony of the Memorial Day started with a one-minute siren wailing across Israel.

The annual Memorial Day, which is on April 19 this year according to Jewish calendar, is dedicated to soldiers died defending the country in wars and terrorist attacks.

Earlier this day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a speech in Jerusalem to commemorate the day, saying Israel still outstretches its hands for peace.


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