More Than 20,000 Londoners Hold Moment of Silence for Munich

The British Zionist Federation's 'Minute for Munich' marked by people in venues across London, in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes killed in the 1972 Munich Olympics; slain commemorated in Los Angeles ceremony.

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More than 20,000 people in various venues in London attended the British Zionist Federation’s “Minute for Munich” program that was promoted via social media.

A short memorial service at the Israeli Embassy that was organized by the Zionist Federation was streamed live online today, according to the London Jewish Chronicle.

About 200 people marked the Minute for Munich in Trafalgar Square, reciting memorial prayers and lighting memorial candles. Afterwards, they waved British and Israeli flags in front of media who attended the event.

“The British Jewish community is showing its solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel,” the British Israel Coalition’s Ari Soffer told the crowd, according to the Chronicle. “We should not allow this tragedy to go uncommemorated. This is a time to show our respect and remember the dead.”

A moment of silence was also held in Los Angeles on Friday morning, too. Just hours before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Consul General of Israel, David Siegel, convened local officials and community leaders at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the site of the 1984 Olympic Games, to commemorate the athletes and coaches who were killed during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

"Israel proudly joins the 2012 summer games in the spirit of sportsmanship," said Consul General Siegel. "But for us, it is also a moment of solemn reflection as we remember the eleven Israelis who traveled to Munich in the spirit of the Olympic values of respect, excellence, and friendship; only to be brutally murdered at the hands of hate-filled terrorists."

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said a prayer for the Munich 11 which was followed by a solemn, reflective minute of silence. As Sanders said, "there should never be such a thing as a murdered Olympian. We honor their memory and we always will."

The families of the victims of the 1972 Munich massacre, in which 11 Israeli Olympics athletes and coaches were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, mounted a global campaign to get the International Olympic Committee to hold an official moment of silence at the Games. The IOC continues to reject the call, despite its being endorsed by President Obama, GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the U.S. Senate, the German Bundestag, the Canadian and Australian parliaments, about 50 members of the British Parliament, the Israeli government, Jewish organizations worldwide and about 100 members of Australia’s Parliament.

The river Thames in London, the Olympics host, July 27, 2012. Credit: AFP
A moment of silence is held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, to commemorate the Israeli athletes and coaches slain in the Munich Massacre.Credit: Simon Wiesenthal Center