Israel wraps up Memorial Day events, turns to celebrating Independence Day with traditional ceremony at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl. Twelve Israelis to light torches. This year’s ceremony paid special tribute to national heritage. Among the 12 chosen to light torches this year are an Air Force pilot, a literature lecturer and two members of youth movements.
Israelis across the country celebrated Independence Day eve in various public events.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein spoke at the ceremony and called for national unity. “I wasn’t born on this land, and did not know its landscapes as a child,” he said. “As a boy I never dreamed the time would come when I would stand here, as the representative of Israel’s Knesset.
“I never dreamed, not because I did not dare or because I was scared. As a boy I hardly knew the State of Israel and never dreamed of being part of it. And so, I did not think it possible to dream a dream so distant, so deep, so different.”
Edelstein further added, “We must continue to argue but when we argue about equal share of the burden, or about the budget, we must never aim to crush the opponent,” he said. “We must strive for a society with opponents. A society where a haredi Jew can fully realize the way of life which he believes while taking responsibility for the state’s security and future as his secular brother does.”