Israel celebrated its 71styear as a modern state on Thursday. They celebrated with parades, military flyovers, and an annual torch-lighting ceremony.
This year’s jubilation was set against a dark backdrop as communities near the border with Gaza are still reeling from a violent weekend that left four dead. The Israeli Air Force, which puts on a show in which jets, transport places, and helicopters fly over the country doing “acrobatics and stunts,” paid homage to the communities who are recovering from the violence. Wednesday had been a Memorial Day dedicated to victims of Palestinian terror and fallen Israeli soldiers.
Israel was reestablished as a modern state in 1948. In the wake of the violence against Jews during World War 2, the United Nations passed Resolution 181, which divided Britain’s Palestine mandate into Jewish and Arab states. The new Israeli government organized on May 14, 1948 and President Harry Truman recognized the new government amidst much opposition from high-ranking officials of his administration.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein honored the Israeli people for their perseverance at the opening ceremonies on Mount Herzl. He said, “Against all odds we returned to our homeland.” He continued, “Continue to believe in yourself, continue going forward against all odds. You will one day stand here and light a torch for the glory of Israel.”
President Reuven Rivlin hosted a ceremony honoring the Israel Defense forces and told a group of 120, “You, who are not afraid of challenges, who are ready for the unexpected, who pull harder and stronger than anyone, you are Israel’s hope and spirit that beats within us, that leads us.”
Celebrations were planned across the country, with Israelis attending concerts, beaches, BBQs, and nature parks.
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”
Photo courtesy: Adam Jang/Unsplash