President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama hosted Thursday morning the traditional Independence Day celebration entitled, "All Israel from Jerusalem."
The even began at 8:40 a.m. with a flyover of military helicopters after which the President and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot reviewed a guard of honor for the 120 IDF officers and soldiers being awarded the medal of excellence.
The 120 soldiers chosen represent all branches of Israel's military, the Israel Defense Forces.
At 9:30 a.m. began the central performance of the "All Israel in Jerusalem" celebrations, which were held in the Presidential Garden.
Notable attendees include Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Supreme Court Justice Miriam Naor and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
This year's celebration will feature a salute to Israeli heroes whose life stories are an inspiration of hope for Israel. Specific heroes were personally chosen by Rivlin, Netanyahu, Ya'alon, and Eizenkot.
President Rivlin chose and welcomed onto the stage, Rama Burshtein, a haredi author and film director, who directed the critically-acclaimed and award-winning film, Fill the Void.
Prime Minister Netanyahu chose Miriam Peretz, a widow who also lost both of her sons, Uriel and Eliraz, during their service in the IDF. She continued on making it her mission to meet with soldiers and other bereaved families.
Ya'alon selected Munir Saoud, an IDF veteran, who lost his leg while fighting with Battalion 890 of the Paratroopers Brigade during the First Lebanon War. In 2005, he helped establish a monument to four IDF soldiers from the Galilee village of Salama.
Eizenkot chose Oren Blitzblau, who was injured during his military service in a suicide bombing in Gaza a decade ago. Despite the burns, hearing impairment and vision loss he suffered, Oren went on to become an award-winning paratriathlon competitor.
After speeches, the ceremony concluded with the 120 exemplary soldiers and officers being presented with a certificate of their award.
Later on Thursday, Rivlin will host the diplomatic corps in Israel for a celebratory reception, and then attend the Israel Prize award ceremony at Jerusalem’s International Conference Center (Binyanei Hauma).