12 April 2021
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III visited Yad Vashem today, 12 April 2021. He was accompanied by Israel's Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Acting Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Ronen Plot. Following a tour of the "Flashes of Memory: Photography during the Holocaust" exhibition, Secretary Austin participated in a Memorial Ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book. Secretary Austin wrote the following in the Guest Book:
"It was a very moving experience to be able visit this honorable place. Thank you for allowing me to participate in the ceremony."
At the conclusion of the visit, Ronen Plot presented Secretary Austin with the Yad Vashem Menorah, a six-branched candelabra.
Secretary of Defense Austin added:
"I am truly humbled and honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the over six million innocent souls that perished in the worst mass atrocity of the 20th century. May their memory be a blessing and the lessons of the Holocaust never be forgotten."