U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro planted an olive tree on Tuesday in honor of the holiday of Tu B’Shvat.
Shapiro planted the tree near the Yemin Orde youth village, which was badly damaged in the Carmel forest fire in December of 2010. The fire, the largest natural disaster in Israel’s history, killed 44 people.
“This is particularly meaningful to me as I still have the images of the raging fire, and the damage that it caused over a full year later,” Shapiro said during the planting ceremony. “I feel blessed to have this opportunity, Erev Tu B’Shvat, to plant a tree in Israel, in Yemin Orde Youth Village, where I know that you, the children of Yemin Orde, will look after and nourish this sapling for many years to come.”
He added, “Before I begin the digging, I’d like to read you the plaque that will also remind you of the strong bond and the deep roots that exist between our countries.”
The plaque reads: “In recognition of the deep-rooted friendship, between our two nations, the United States of America and Israel. Tu B'Shvat , 5772 (February 2012)”.