As emotionally traumatic as Yom Hazikaron was yesterday, Yom Atzmaut in Israel today has been a joyous display of Israeli pride and fun.
Approximately 1,000,000 Israelis picnicked in forests operated by the Jewish National Fund. The most heavily visited sites were the Biria Forest in the north, Yatir Forest in the south, and the Ben Shemen Forest in central Israel. Hundreds of thousands more visited military bases throughout the country.
And so many parties: in the streets, in backyards, on the beaches, everywhere!
Here are some pictures from modern Israel’s 66th birthday party. It all started in Jerusalem where Yom Atzmaut kicked off in grand style:
As soon as the ceremony was over, the parties began:
And into the street:
The streets were packed in Jerusalem:
And there was marching at the Kotel:
Eventually the parties of last night gave way to the activities of today–and what is more paradigmatic than this picture taken today of Israelis barbecuing at a park near the beach:
But in the end, it is always about the amazingly young country of ancient Israel. And no one displays the flag better than the youth of Israel walking down a street in Jerusalem!
Happy birthday Israel!