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100,000 Watch Jerusalem Parade of Israel’s Armed Forces on Independence Day

Nearly 100,000 persons–almost the entire population of Jerusalem–today watched a gigantic parade of Israel’s armed forces and an serial show put on by a squadron of Air Force planes in honor of the third anniversary of the Jewish state’s independence.

The parade was preceded by Army Chief of Staff Yigal Yadin reading his order of the day to the troops and by an address by Acting Premier Moshe Sharett. Then a lone fighter plane zoomed out of the sky in a hair raising dive at the end of which the pilot released a parachute which carried a message of greeting from the armed forces to President Chaim Weizmann. The message was picked up and rushed to Gen. Yadin who presented it to the President. Then the General gave the command that started thousands of men and women down Jerusalem’s main streets.

Contingents of colorfully clad Bedouins and Drupes marched with their Jewish brothers-in-arms. The parade was started by infantry units, followed by artillery and tank outfits, air force troops and marine and women’s corps groups. Overhead a squadron of planes flew in massed formation. The parade passed a special reviewing stand on which military and political leaders and some 2,500 guests watched the various units give the salute. An estimated 10,000 persons gathered in the hills above the city also watched the parade.

In the pre-parade exercises the flag was lowered to half-mast in memory of the men and women who died in defense of the Jewish homeland. Among the guests at the celebration, foreign diplomats were conspicuous by their absence. They boycotted the parade in the capital and attended the one in Tel Aviv. Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, American Zionist leader, when he arrived here from Tel Aviv was met by an honor guard of Maccabi members and a crowd of other Israel well-wishers.

The World Zionist executive issued an Independence Day manifesto, signed by Berl Locker, calling upon the Zionist movement to continue to mobilize maximum aid for Israel, and “fulfill the Zionist mission and destiny” until the work of “ingathering of exiles” is completed and “until the people of Israel dwell safely in their country.”

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