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Israeli youth on Marching and Saluting walk in Switzerland Forest by Lake Kinneret.(Photo by: MICHAEL HURI - KKL-JNF)
Marching in salute of wounded IDF veterans and terror victims
In Israel today, there are over 70,000 people wounded in wars or by acts of terror. Appreciation Day is an opportunity to thank them and to acknowledge the physical and mental burden they still bear.
On November 20, 2018, tens of thousands of Israelis participated in a march honoring the IDF soldiers and victims of terror who have been wounded or disabled in Israel’s operations. The march, which took place at different locations throughout Israel, was a joint effort of Zehut, the IDF Disabled Veterans Association, the Ministry of Defense and KKL-JNF.

“Marching and Saluting (Tzoadim VeMatzdi’im)” was the first of three central events that mark the Fifth National Day of Appreciation for those Wounded in Israel’s Wars and in Terrorist Attacks, which takes place on November 11, 2018. In the second event on Thursday, November 22, Paralympic athletes, together with other Israeli athletes and rowers from the general public, rowed across Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). The concluding event was on Sunday, November 25, when disabled IDF veterans spoke to young people in schools all over Israel.

About 4,000 marchers departed from two starting points in northern Israel. The first starting point was in northern Israel at Switzerland Forest by Lake Kinneret, where more than 1,200 marchers - including youth, pre-military academy students, members of the Israel Police and students - were led by five IDF disabled war veterans.

The second starting point was at the Ramat HaNadiv Gardens in Zichron Ya’akov, from where 3,000 people marched together with IDF disabled war veterans who shared their experiences in the battles in which they were wounded. At the concluding event for the North at the Shuni Jabotinsky Park amphitheater, a moving appreciation ceremony took place in the presence of Haim Bar, Chairman of the IDF Disabled War Veterans Organization; Member of Knesset Leah Fadida; regional KKL-JNF representatives; Zehut organization representatives, and more.

Marches also took place in the central region. About 2,000 participants, including high school students, soldiers, Israel Police force members, Education Ministry representatives and the general public, accompanied disabled war veterans on foot and by bike as they marched along the Seven to Ten Mills Trail in Ganei Yehoshua.

In southern Israel, hundreds of marchers gathered at Eshkol Park in the Gaza border region, and, together with disabled war veterans, went for a seven-kilometer walk along Nahal HaBesor (The Besor Streambed). The march concluded at the offices of the Eshkol Regional Council, in the presence of Regional Council Mayor Gadi Yarkoni. The fire trucks that are part of the continuous and daily battle to stop the fires caused by the incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza were also on hand for the concluding ceremony

Itai, a tenth-grader from Beit HaChinuch Carmel Zevulun, said that this was the first time that he had “heard an IDF disabled war veteran tell his personal story and the story of the battle he was wounded in. I think that organizing an event like this every year is very important in order to increase public awareness of this subject.”

A powerful experience – read more, see photos of the marches.
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