Sunday, May 10, 2015

Israel Odyssey Day 3/4 (part 2)

After the remembrance ceremonies of Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) the night transforms Israel from a state of solemnity to the joy and exhilaration of Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Independence Day). The celebrations commemorate the Day that David Ben Gurion made the declaration in Tel Aviv during a radio broadcast that Israel established itself as a free and independent democracy. The next day the arab armies of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt invaded with the intention of overrunning the newly declared state and wiping it off the face of the map.

Needless to day, it didn't happen. Just as Yom Hazikaron is a day of mourning for all those who gave their lives in defense of the state, Yom Ha'Atzmaut is a celebration of every victory the Israelis achieved through strength of character and determination. As much as I knew, before I traveled there, of the great spirit and creativity of the Israelis, I was deeply impressed by the warmth and generosity every place I visited.

Gathering for  the celebrations in Jerusalem on the Ben Yehuda Mall: