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Obama visits Israeli memorial sites

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“Nothing equals the wrenching power of this sacred place, where the totality of the Shoah is told,” Obama said during the visit to Yad Vashem. “We could come here a thousand times, and each time our hearts would break.”

The visit to the Herzl grave was the first thing Israelis requested that Obama do as the trip was being planned, according to a White House pool report. The site has enormous importance to Israel in that it underlines their claims to land in the Middle East separate from the Holocaust.

Obama was accompanied during the stops at all three sites by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.

A White House pool report said Obama was flanked by Netanyahu and Peres at the Herzl memorial. He stood with his hands clasped before the granite slab marked “Herzl” before walking away with the two men.

Obama walked through the Children’s Memorial, an underground cavern where candles burn in reflection to the 1.5 million Jewish children killed in the Holocaust.

Obama will next head to Jordan before traveling back to Washington on Friday night.

For more on Obama's visit to Israel's memorial sites, click here.

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