Top Olympic officials and Britain’s prime minister took part in an official memorial ceremony in London to mark the 40th anniversary of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Last night’s ceremony took place after demands from relatives of the slain athletes for a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the London Games had been rejected.
“It was a truly shocking act of evil. A crime against the Jewish people. A crime against humanity. A crime the world must never forget,” Prime Minister David Cameron said at the memorial ceremony. “We remember them today, with you, as fathers, husbands and athletes. As innocent men. As Olympians. And as members of the people of Israel, murdered doing nothing more and nothing less than representing their country in sport.”
The event was organized by the National Olympic Committee of Israel, the Jewish Committee for the London Games and the Embassy of Israel.
Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, widows of two of the Israelis, were among the attendees.
“For us, the memory of our athletes slain in Munich by Palestinian terrorists is forever etched in our collective soul,” Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat said at the ceremony.
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, British government ministers and Israeli officials also attended the memorial.