Planting Trees in Memory of the Carmel Disaster Victims.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
In the days that followed the great fire on Mount Carmel in December 2010, the burned woodland presented such a dismal spectacle that it was hard to imagine the area would ever turn green again. Five years on, life has returned to the Carmel Forests and they are flourishing once more. On February 4th, 2016, a special planting ceremony was held in memory of those who died in the Carmel fire disaster. Among those present were the bereaved families, the Knesset Speaker, government ministers and members of the Knesset, KKL-JNF’s World Chairman and the CEO of the Nature and Parks Authority.
Forty-four people, including firefighters, police officers and members of the Prison Service, died in the great fire on Mount Carmel in 2010. Near Kibbutz Beit Oren, the bereaved families recently held a planting ceremony at the monument to those who had perished in the blaze, and planted trees in their memory.
Twenty members of Knesset representing all shades of political opinion joined the families at the compound. These public figures were headed by Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein, who told those present: “This terrible fire was one of the greatest disasters that the State has ever known. Forty-four people died, and thousands of dunam of land where millions of trees grew were destroyed. The fire turned the green hill black.”
Today Mount Carmel is green once more, and at this time of year it is adorned with anemones and a whole host of other beautiful flowers. Yuli Edelstein said: “Nature has worked hard, new trees have grown, flowers have appeared, there’s green on every side and it’s impossible not to feel optimism and great hope for growth and renewal.”
“Planting trees is the most significant and symbolic way to prove that life is stronger than anything else,” declared KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar. “Here, of all places, at the site of a terrible disaster, we found strength and hope.”
The tree-planting event was initiated by MK Nava Boker, whose husband, the late northern district operations officer Deputy Police Commander Lior Boker, fell in the course of duty during the Carmel fire. “We’ve created a living, breathing and growing memorial to our loved ones,” she said. “Like the trees, we too can grow and recover. The bereaved families share a burden of terrible pain, but today have shown us all a horizon of hope, love and unity. The memorial reminds everyone of the heroism of our loved ones and the legacy of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty that they have left behind them.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent his best wishes for the event, and these were read out by Rose Ohion, wife of the late Hanan Ohayon of the Israel Prison Service, who died in the fire.
For further information, comments or permission please contact
KKL-JNF – Information and Internet Department