Israel celebrates 68 years of independence

Israel celebrates with air shows, naval shows, ceremonies, parades, concerts, barbeques and an international Bible quiz

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Israel continues to celebrate its 68 years of independence with the Israel’s Air Force annual air show Thursday morning. The air show is performed across all of Israel, with C-130’s, F-15’s, F-16’s, helicopters and much more. Israel’s Navy also put on a show in Eilat Thursday morning.

Several IDF bases and museums are open to the public Thursday, with ceremonies, concerts and parades through out all regions of Israel as Israelis celebrate 68 years of independence, with traditional barbeques and travel in the country’s’ national parks and beaches.

Additionally on Thursday morning, a ceremony was held at Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s private residence in Jerusalem, where 120 Medals of Excellence were awarded to 120 Israeli citizens, including IDF soldiers, Israelis citizens and volunteers. The president will later host an event for world ambassadors and diplomats to Israel.

Also on Thursday morning Israel will hold its International Bible Quiz in Jerusalem with 65 participants from around the globe.

On Wednesday evening, as with each year, a torch-lighting ceremony was held in Jerusalem’s Mt. Herzl, the theme of this year’s ceremony focused on bravery of Israeli citizens. During the ceremony, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a televised speech in which he spoke of Israel’s independence and strength, focusing on the IDF, police and security forces. He stated “Many challenges stand before us but I am certain that we can overcome them with unity and with hope. The primary condition for independence is the will to protect, but the painful price is that of our fallen children and brothers, to whom we are infinitely indebted. We know that there is no existence without protective strength, there is no independence without strength. That is why we all salute you, our precious soldiers, our policemen, our women and men of the security forces. You guard the state and I ask you to protect yourselves. In the name of the entire nation, thank you.”