Legendary IDF battlefield tours impart Israeli fighting heritage

IDF Appreciation Day for 1948 fighters for State and IDFs 70th anniversary. 'Their work was important once and is important to this day.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Training future paratroopers
Training future paratroopers
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From today's point of view, as citizens who were raised and perhaps even born in Israel, it is hard to imagine the early days of the State and the uncertainty about its continued existence.

Seventy years ago, the State was in the midst of a war of survival whose results no one could predict. About two weeks after the establishment of the State of Israel, during the War of Independence, the Israel Defense Forces were established, along with the 12 brigades of 1948, which operate to this day.

The IDF today saluted these brigades and thanked the fighters and brigades of 1948, in whose merit the State of Israel and the IDF celebrate 70 years. Of the 12 brigades of 1948, 9 belong to Northern Command, and therefore the command drives and leads the event.

"This initiative began after the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the IDF and the State of Israel. We chose to devote a moment to those 12 brigades that are also marking 70 years," explains Northern Command Education Officer Major Ala Maoz. "These brigades fought throughout the country from the north to the south. This is an event in which all attention will be directed to them."

Golani training
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The 1948 brigades continue to operate in various forms today, some as regular divisions (such as the Golani Brigade, Givati ​​Brigade, and 7th Brigade), and some as reserve brigades (such as the Alexandroni Brigade, Carmeli, and the Old Man's Brigade). They underwent many changes over the years, and many brigades were added to them, but the core of the fighters' values ​​and profuse motivation remained as they were.

During the 1948 Battalions Day, tours were conducted throughout the country in the places of the brigades' epic battles. "Each brigade chose a number of significant battles in which it participated and central heritage sites and focused on them throughout the tour. Also young people from pre-military preparatory programs joined in, and for them it was an opportunity to participate in a meaningful event and learn."

Fighters from 1948 who were part of the brigades from the moment of their establishment and fought bravely in the War of Independence spoke of the battles from their personal point of view and shared their memories and experiences.

Givati exercise
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Tours took place in many places around the country. The Yiftah Brigade began its day with a panel of 1948 fighters in Kibbutz Yiftah in the Upper Galilee. The Oded Brigade conducted a tour of the Golan Heights that included a historical survey of the sector. The Alexandroni Brigade took a guided tour of the battles in Tantura and Cacone. The Etzion Brigade dealt with battles in which it participated in the Gush Etzion area. The legendary Carmeli Brigade divisions split between many heritage sites and the commanders of the Kiryati Brigade presented a survey of the battles in central Israel.

Later in the evening a major rally will be held at the Caesarea Amphitheater headed by Northern Commander Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, and Northern Corps Comander Major General Amir Baram. The rally will mark the peak of the 1948 Brigade Day and will mark the 70th anniversary of the IDF.

"Applying oneself to knowing heritage is without doubt the most important thing," emphasizes Major Maoz. "At this point in time we sometimes forget to stop and remember how valuable our starting point was and how determined were the founders of the State, who all mobilized and worked for the common goal. This is an opportunity to connect people with the heritage, you can't remain indifferent to such an event.

"The importance of this event is enormous; it's intended to strengthen the fighters of the past and the fighters of today, and to remind us that the work was important once and is still important today."



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