In keeping with a long-held tradition ahead of Independence Day, President Isaac Herzog and his wife, Michal, went out to the rear garden of the President’s Residence on Monday to meet the 120 outstanding soldiers who were rehearsing for their big day.Due to the fact that this is a landmark anniversary year for Israel’s independence, this year’s celebration and its accompanying honors at the President’s Residence will be particularly meaningful, especially as the soldiers and their families represent the full diversity of Israeli society in terms of ethnic and national backgrounds and religious affiliations, beliefs and practice.
Nation at a crossroads
This is particularly significant at this time given the issues that threaten to tear the nation as under. Herzog told the soldiers that he and his wife wanted to tell them how much they love and respect them, and how much they value the fact that the soldiers have begun to fulfill their dreams of a promising future.“You are the generation of Israel’s future and you carry that responsibility on your shoulders,” Herzog told them. He urged them to take care of themselves, to continue to serve the state, and to do good, as he wished them all success in their endeavors.
The official ceremony on Wednesday will be televised on all major channels, and will begin at 8:45 a.m. with an Israel Air Force fly-past with four jet planes flying in formation. The pilots have also been rehearsing, which accounts for the ongoing roar that Jerusalemites have been hearing over the past day or so.Immediately after the fly-past, Herzog and IDF Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi will inspect the soldiers, who represent different units of the army, navy and air force. They will subsequently each receive a medal and a scholarship.Aside from the formalities there will be a lot of entertainment, including both contemporary and nostalgic songs performed by well-known singers as well as singers from IDF entertainment troupes.