Evacuating wounded soldiers
Evacuating wounded soldiersIDF Spokesman

Arutz Sheva spoke with Alon Dahan, Chairman of the Jerusalem District of the IDF Disabled Organization, about the significance of the day on which tribute is paid to IDF wounded veterans which is marked today (Thursday).

"Recognition Day is more for the general public than for us," says Dahan, who warns of the sense of routine that erodes the sensitivity that was floating and rising when each of us would meet the price of our existence in this country in the form of disability and injury of warriors.

"The public gets used to things which end up losing their sense of significance for them," he says. "Years ago, there was no necessity for a ceremony like this since everyone who saw a disabled veteran realized what kind of price they had to pay. We received plenty of attention every day of the year, but nowadays it's become important to say what seemed obvious in years past" he says.

"Recognition Day, more than just reminding us of the sacrifice we've made with our bodies, is there to remind the general public that our existence in the Land of Israel depends on the personal sacrifice of each and every citizen, whether it be those who paid with their lives or parts of their bodies or souls – a heavy price to pay indeed."

"For them, the war is never over. Their wounds aren't always evident to the eye. You often see someone who seems completely healthy but later understand the price the few pay for the many. They need much more than the recognition," says Dahan, who is concerned over cuts in funding for aging veterans making life that much harder for them.

"Years ago, the rehabilitation division had good intentions and a good way of doing things, but over time it has lost that spirit and has disconnect from the veterans. There are a lot of people doing a great job and I'm always grateful to them, but there are also significant holes in the system which don't allow it to provide even basic service. It needs a big jolt in order to get back to the approach that these people are not a problem, but our own blood. This should be stressed not only today but every day so that they're sacrifices aren't forgotten. If people start forgetting, they need be reminded."

Dahan wonders how mere days before a day honoring disabled IDF vets, the State Treasury can decide to freeze disability benefits for these brave soldiers.

The ceremony will be broadcast tonight on Arutz Sheva.