Seventy years ago, a new chapter was opened up in the history of the Jewish people: the State of Israel was established. Nineteen years later, we ascended to another phase: our capital, Jerusalem, which was divided by walls and fences, was united and became one. Modern Jerusalem and historic Jerusalem were united, and will never be divided again.
Together with the joy and pride in having gained independence and sovereignty, we are saddened by those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the rebirth of Israel. This year, we were separated from the poet and fighter Haim Gouri. Gouri imprinted the difficult emotions that accompany us on the Days of Remembrance and Rebirth in his poem 'Bab al Wad', in which he wrote: "Here sorrow and glory lie together." Along with the joy of seeing Jerusalem grow and develop, and the State of Israel stronger than ever, we express deep sorrow over the loss of our sons and daughters.
Jerusalem contains these extremes as only a city with three thousand years of experience is capable. In Jerusalem, the state events will be held as in every year, in memory of the fallen, and this year they will be joined by festive ceremonies and events marking the seventy years of the State. Alongside the main ceremonies, we will hold a wide variety of events in the cultural institutions of Jerusalem and produced by the Culture and Leisure Administration, that will be open to the general public, free of charge.
On Independence Day, in addition to the stages located in the center of the city, we will continue the tradition of neighborhood events, and on the coming Independence Day Eve, additional stages will operate in the individual neighborhoods.
I would like to thank all those who took part in the planning, organization, and production of the various events and ceremonies, and to wish the residents of Jerusalem and the citizens of the State of Israel a good 70th year, full of prosperity and development.
Mayor of Jerusalem
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