Chief of Staff, "Pride and satisfaction light our way"

Chief of the General Staff sends a message to IDF (Zahal) soldiers and commanders regarding Israeli Independence Day and what its taken the country to get here

Date: 10/05/2011, 10:32 PM     Author: Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz

63 years after the announcement of the independence of the Jewish nation as the State of Israel, we remember the struggles, the hardships and the heroism etched in our history books. In this hour, pride and satisfaction light much of the army and nation’s way, bring life to the achievements of Israeli society from the moment the country was created.

The love of our country and the bond to its legacy and sites are of the main sources of the IDF (Zahal)’s main sources of power, and they express its identity as a nation’s army. We garner our strength in times of emergency and in the day-to-day from this connection, and in its wake the IDF (Zahal) educates its soldiers.

At this time, after the sharp transition from Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day to celebrations of Israeli Independence Day, we do not forget that the facts of our existence as a sovereign country and as a free nation in its country are not to be taken for granted, and that many are the obstacles and threats which stand before us. The struggle for peace and serenity among us has yet to end, and in the hour we think of Independence Day, IDF (Zahal) commanders and soldiers continue to stand guard.

In this celebration, more than ever, we remember and honor the boys and girls who paid the price for our freedom with their lives. We send warm hugs to the bereaved families, next to whom we stand at every moment, to our friends the wounded veterans of the IDF (Zahal), and we’ll send a prayer for the return of our lost soldiers and those taken hostage.

I ask to send my appreciation to each and every one of you, commanders of the IDF (Zahal) and its soldiers on land, in the air and at sea, in their regular service and in the reserves – for your part in the fortification of the defensive shield of the State of Israel and for the contribution to the steadfast stance of the IDF (Zahal). With the onset of the new independent year, we will continue to prepare and be alert for the future and to operate for the security of Israel and the safety of its people.