Israel Starts Independence Day Celebration; Honors Fallen Heroes
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Israel Starts Independence Day Celebration; Honors Fallen Heroes

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Observance of Memorial Day for those who fell in defense of Israel, which annually precedes the celebration of Israel’s Independence Day, was ushered in tonight with a broadcast to the nation by Premier Levi Eshkol.

Services for Israel’s war dead will be held tomorrow throughout army camps and military cemeteries. Veterans parades will be held in Israel’s major cities. The closing Memorial Day rites will be held on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem and the start of celebration of Israel’s 17th Independence Anniversary will begin immediately thereafter.

Five of the six major events for the celebration will held in Jerusalem. The principal military parade, including the Air Force display, will be held in Tel Aviv. A display of fireworks, music and a 2,000-member military parade will be held in Jerusalem tomorrow night. A military review will be held in the Hebrew University stadium which will be attended by Israel’s military leaders.

Hundreds of tourists today besieged the Government Tourist Office in Tel Aviv, clamoring for tickets for the parade. Four thousand grandstand tickets were snatched up by the tourists within a few hours after they were placed on sale by the Tourist Office. Many tourists left disappointed and angry. Police had to be called to bar some tourists from trying to force their way into the Tourist Office.


Officials stressed that nearly 14,000 tickets were set aside this year for tourists. They also said that, to meet the demand, additional grandstand seats might be built. To mollify disappointed visitors, officials took hundreds of them last night to watch a full-scale dress rehearsal of army units participating in the parade. Colored lights and flags decorated both cities as Tel Aviv braced for 500,000 visitors who were expected to join the area’s 1,000,000 residents for the Independence Day events. About 500,000 are expected to line the Jerusalem parade route.

The Air Force display will show 300 planes, including the new French-built Mirage jets. The motorized units will include United States Hawk anti-aircraft missiles, tanks, self-propelled guns and other units. The celebration will be concluded with the kindling of a torch on Mount Herzi.

Other events will be the Second World Jewish Youth Bible quiz, awards of Israel prizes in music, agriculture and education, and an Independence Day song festival. There will be 22 contestants of high school age from 12 countries in the Bible quiz. The judges panel is headed by Deputy Premier Abba Eban. Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion will open the quiz and head the presidium which will hear any appeals from the judges’ decisions.

Recipients of the Israel prizes on Independence Day will include Shlomo Tsemach and the late Shlomo Dickman in Hebrew literature; Professors Amos de Shalit and Amos Talmi in nuclear research; Prof. C.R.L. Frankenstein in education; Mordechai Seter in music; Yehudit Shuval in social science for a book. “Immigrants on the Threshold”; and Shmuel Stoller of Kibbutz Kinneret in agriculture.

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