President Donald Trump on Monday visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial, to commemorate the 6 million victims and take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance in Israel on the second stop on his first foreign trip since taking office.
As is customary by visiting foreign leaders, Trump left a handwritten message in Yad Vashem’s guest book that will be preserved in the museum’s records. The note typically reflects how the visitor was personally moved by the memorial.
“It is a great honor to be here with all of my friends — so amazing and will never forget!” Trump wrote in a note signed by him and first lady Melania Trump:
On the left, via @RaoulWootliff, the note Trump just left at Yad Vashem.
On the right, the note Obama left at Yad Vashem. pic.twitter.com/rdviJtF3HI
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) May 23, 2017
Obama visited Yad Vashem in July 2008 while he was still a US senator who was campaigning for president, reports Business Insider.
“I am grateful to Yad Vashem and all of those responsible for this remarkable institution,” Obama wrote in the guestbook. “At a time of great peril and promise, war and strife, we are blessed to have such a powerful reminder of man’s potential for great evil, but also our capacity to rise up from tragedy and remake our world.”
It continued: “Let our children come here, and know this history, so that they can add their voices to proclaim ‘never again.’ And may we remember those who perished, not only as victims, but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed like us, and who have become symbols of the human spirit.”
When George W. Bush visited Yad Vashem in January 2008, shortly before his second term ended, the memorial chairman said Bush had tears in his eyes as he toured the memorial, according to the AP. He reportedly told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the US “should have bombed Auschwitz to stop the genocide.”
“God bless Israel,” Bush wrote in his short note.
When first lady Laura Bush visited the memorial in May 2005, she wrote:
“Each life is precious. Each memory calls us to action to honor those lost. We committ (sic) ourselves to reject hatred and to teach tolerance and live in peace.”
Hillary Clinton visited the Holocaust memorial as secretary of state in March 2009.
“Yad Vashem is a testament to the power of truth in the face of denial, the resilience of the human spirit in the face of despair, the triumph of the Jewish people over murder and destruction and a reminder to all people that the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten,” Clinton’s note said. “God bless Israel and its future.”