Israelis kicked off their country’s 60th Independence Day.
Senior Israeli officials and foreign dignitaries gathered on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl late Wednesday for military parades and speeches launching celebrations of the Jewish state’s founding in 1948.
“Today, Jews anywhere in the world know that, after 2000 years, they have a place to turn to. They have a homeland,” Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik said in an address. “Israel is an extraordinary success story.”
After 24 hours of mourning Israel’s fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, the nation turned to jubilation, with parties and fireworks displays. On Thursday, Israelis were expected to turn out for family barbecues, nature hikes and visits to military bases.