President Rivlin with the outstanding soldiers at the dress rehearsal
President Rivlin with the outstanding soldiers at the dress rehearsalHaim Zach (GPO)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday visited the 120 outstanding soldiers during their dress rehearsal for the traditional ceremony on Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day), which will be held on Thursday in the gardens of the President’s Residence.

The event, “All Israel From Jerusalem,” will be broadcast on Thursday 15 May, for the last time during Rivlin’s term of office.

“I see your excited faces and I am happy we can hold this moving ceremony this year almost as normal,” Rivlin said to the soldiers. “You are the outstanding soldiers, men and women, of the IDF, with berets of all colors, combatants, support troops, intelligence soldiers. You are, all of you together, the beautiful face of our country. We thank you, and on the morning of Yom Ha’atzmaut, we will spotlight you as the best of the best. Chag sameach (happy holiday), my dears!”

The President also thanked Lt.-Col. Oded Nahar, who will command the event for the 21st time this year.

In line with tradition, for the last time, Rivlin will host the main celebrations on the morning of Israel’s 73rd Yom Ha’atzmaut with the “All Israel From Jerusalem” event.

The celebrations will begin with a flyover of IAF combat aircraft, saluting the outstanding soldiers from all branches of the IDF.

The outstanding soldiers were meticulously selected by their commanders to receive the honor from the president for meaningful service and outstanding contributions to the IDF and the State of Israel. At the end of the flyover, President Rivlin and the IDF Chief of Staff will review the soldiers.

Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the remainder of the event has been pre-recorded and will be followed by the live broadcast of the award ceremony to the outstanding soldiers. The entire event will be broadcast on all TV channels on the morning of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Thursday April 13, between 9:30 and 11:05a.m.

The first part of the broadcast, which is pre-recorded, will be hosted by Rotem Abuav and will include singers Eliad Nachum and Ester Rada, as well as a special tribute to songwriter Avihu Medina. Together with the President, they will celebrate along with Israelis from around the country in a special salute to volunteers, teaching staff and medical teams.

The second part, which will be live from the gardens of the President’s Residence, will include the award ceremony for 120 outstanding soldiers. As is customary, the president, IDF Chief of Staff and a representative of the soldiers will deliver remarks.

The President’s Residence will be broadcasting the festive event in full and on all platforms – television, radio and internet – in Israel and around the world.