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Recognizing 58th Anniversary of Independence of Israel

Location: Washington, DC

RECOGNIZING 58TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE OF ISRAEL -- (House of Representatives - May 02, 2006)


Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, today I wish to join in celebrating the anniversary of Israel's independence. Israel is one of America's closest allies. We rely on her good will in our War on Terror. We enjoy mutually beneficial economic agreements. And, we value Israel as the only functioning democracy in the world's most volatile region.

On May 14, 1948, or the fifth day of the month of Iyar, which is the Hebrew date of the formal establishment of the State, members of the ``provisional government'' read and signed a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv. After decades of no homeland, the State of Israel was finally returned to the Jewish people. This year will mark the 58th anniversary of ``Yom Ha'atzmaut'' or Independence Day.

Yom Ha'atzmaut in Israel is always preceded by Yom Hazikaron--Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence--the very existence of the State--to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it, a sentiment not lost on Americans.

The official transition from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha'atzmaut is a moving event that takes place a few minutes after sundown with a ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in which the flag is raised from half staff to the top of the pole. The President of Israel delivers a speech of congratulations, and soldiers representing the army, navy, and air force parade with their flags.

I wish our good companion, Israel, safety and security, prosperity and good fortune over the upcoming year. I vow to continue standing with you and working to ensure that the friendship between our two great nations remains strong.


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