Israelis went from sorrow to celebration Wednesday night as Remembrance Day turned into Independence day. The traditional ceremony at Har Herzel was opened by Knesset speaker Yariv Levin.
"We are fulfilling with great dedication the Zionist vision," said Levin.
"We have gone through a difficult time. Independence day is the right moment to prioritize the things that connect us, the things that we have in common."
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that "like other Jews around the world, I am very proud of Israel," in a video recording played at the ceremony, Ynet News reported."This year, the partnership between Pfizer and Israel has led to another breakthrough - together we are proving that through mass vaccinations we can eradicate the corona pandemic and save lives."
The ceremony is known as the largest and the most-watched ceremony in Israel. Although the pandemic did not completely cancel the show this year, it still left its mark on it. Whether it is the preparation of the ceremony according to the guidelines of the Health Ministry, the small audience that can attend, and the requirement that all participants in the ceremony be vaccinated or recovering.
"Obviously performing in front of 500 people is a completely different audience than in front of 5,000," Col. Benzi Asher, commander of the IDF's Ceremonies Unit, laughed, "but the theme of the 'Corona Year' is reflected here as well. I do not want to give too many clues, but viewers will find it easy to identify the theme… A place for imagination," he added.