JERUSALEM (May. 12)
Israel’s Memorial Day for those who fell in the War of Independence, observed annually the day before Independence Day, closed tonight with a mass rally on Mount Herzl at which 12 beacons were kindled to symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel returned to Israel in the Ingathering of the Exiles.
The ceremony, at which Nahum Nir, Speaker of the Knesset, presided, also formally ushered in Israel’s twelfth year. Fireworks and demonstrations touched off the celebration. This afternoon, the entire diplomatic corps paid its respects to President Ben Zvi with a visit to his home.
A memorial torch for Hagana members killed during the years before Israel’s independence was lighted last night before the Great Synagogue in special ceremonies at which Hagana veterans maintained a guard of honor. Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, and Mayor Chaim Levanon spoke at a meeting in the Mann Auditorium, attended by thousands of families whose relatives were killed in the War of Independence and during the Sinai campaign.
Mrs. Meir, in her moving address, brought tears to the eyes of the listeners as she recalled the heroism of those who sacrificed their lives for statehood and the heroism of the relatives who sustained their sorrows. Similar meetings took place in Haifa, Ramieh and other cities.