Chanukah for War Invalids

It was a sad gathering — yet there were song, applause and laughter. It was a special Chanukah evening for invalids of the five Israeli wars: the War of Independence, the Sinai campaign, the Six-Day War, the war of attrition and the Yom Kippur War. The five candles were each lighted by an invalid of one of the wars. Only the fifth candle was lighted by two invalids–one whose right arm was amputated, and the other whose left arm was amputated. The two of them together held the candle–and were smiling and reciting the blessings.

The Chief of Staff. Gen David Elazar, was there and told the veterans of the Israeli army that it is still the Israeli army that assures the existence of Israel. “It is because of the strength of the Israeli army that we reached Geneva and we shall reach peace because of our strength, our ability to fight and because of the spirit of devotion and sacrifice that you, the injured, are the best example of. Let us only hope that we shall no more have to light candles of war.”

Elazar said that the Israeli army is still recruited and there is a high alert on the lines. “They call it cease-fire,” he said, “but there is ample fire along the lines. There is a peace conference going on in Geneva but we are still far away from peace.” Israeli artists then performed to the joy of those present. A fleet of ambulances and buses then took the injured back to hospitals.

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