Hundreds participated in the Yom Hazikaron (Remembrance Day) ceremony in Jerusalem’s German Colony, Tuesday night. Soldiers from a wide assortment of companies marched in memory of the nation’s fallen soldiers and terror victims. Particularly moving was watching the volunteer Special in Uniform corps among the marching troops.
Unlike many other countries, most of Israel’s wars have been fought on home turf. This, coupled with the fact that Israel is a small country with a population of only eight million, contributes to the doleful reality that there is hardly an adult in the country who isn’t personally familiar with at least one casualty of war or terror.
“Tonight, we remember the heroic men and women who gave their lives for Israel, whether they served in the IDF, Israel's Armed Forces, or were sacrifices of terror. What’s so special about this ceremony is seeing our volunteer soldiers from Special in Uniform marching alongside troops from all companies and brigades," said Lt. Colonel (Res.) Tiran Attia, program director of Special in Uniform. "Special in Uniform is an awe-inspiring societal triumph, enabling youngsters with disabilities to serve the army and thus contribute their share to the nation.”
Michael Bibas, who marched in the ceremony, is currently in the volunteer stage of the program. “Today is the day that our entire country remembers our soldiers,” he said, “which is why it’s so important for me to take part in this ceremony.”
Special in Uniform is a unique program operating in partnership with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) that integrates young people with a wide variety of disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces and, in turn, into Israeli society. Its core beliefs are that everyone belongs, that everyone has the right and capacity to reach his or her full potential. Special in Uniform emphasizes the unique talents and skills of each individual and matches him to a suitable job within the IDF that allows him to use his abilities to help keep Israel safe and secure.