1,507 fallen IAF servicemen and women left thousands of bereaved families behind. As it does every year, the Israeli Air Force family will congregate in Pilots Mountain, a formation of “Sufa” F-16I jets from the “Negev” Squadron will salute the fallen soldiers in a special fly-over above the monument and Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, IAF Commander, will light the remembrance fire
Yael Bar & Ohad Zeltzer Zubida
For the annual ceremony held on Pilots Mountain near Jerusalem, the IAF family: bereaved parents, widows, orphans, brothers, sisters and the senior command of the IAF, will all congregate in order to remember and pay their respects to their fallen loved ones and brothers in arms.
A special fly-over of “Sufa” F-16I jets from the “Negev” Squadron will perform a “Missing Formation” above the memorial ceremony, in which four jets in close formation take flight over the mountain and when passing over the heads of the families, one of the jets turns to the side, creating a “Missing Formation” of three jets symbolizing the fallen brothers and sisters.
As the Israeli tradition dictates, in the upcoming days, sadness and happiness are intertwined, as Independence Day begins as The Day of Remembrance ends. This traditional transition symbolizes the essence of Israeli remembrance, between sadness and happiness, the soldiers who fell for the independence of the state. Another characteristic of this tradition is the proximity of the “Missing Formation” Flyover preformed on The Day of Remembrance and the Annual Aerial Demonstration performed by the IAF on Independence Day.
In the traditional Aerial Demonstration, IAF aircraft fill the country’s skies, helicopters, fighter jets and transport aircraft, led by the IAF Aerobatic Team in their White and Red T-6 “Texans”. The Aerial Demonstration flies across the country and passes over all of Israel’s large cities.
Today, we remember our fallen loved ones and tomorrow we celebrate the independence of our Country.