Josh, one of our 5 month Social Action track participants, recently wrote the following about his experience in Israel on Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day:
Starting at 8pm on Monday May 9th it became Yom HaAtzmaut which is Israeli Independence Day. This started with tons of celebrations in Rabin Square where there were thousands upon thousands of people celebrating. All the kids had this spray foam stuff and they also had inflatable hammers and they were going crazy, spraying each other and beating each other with the hammers. I got to Rabin Square and right away there was a woman performing on stage. I didn’t know who she was but I was told she was a pretty famous Israeli singer. After her many other people came on and performed. There was one woman who apparently is really big and she reminded all of us of Ellen Degeneres. After her this old man came on to perform, once again no idea but was told he is an older singer and very well known. Everyone who performed was amazing. After the show ended at like 2am Nancy, Kelly and I went to Florentine for the street party. The street party was completely BALIGAN(crazy/insane). Tens of thousands of people drinking, dancing and partying in the streets. It was one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. Music was loud, drinks were everywhere, it was a night of pure craziness.
The next day consisted of much more celebrating. First thing to do was to wake up and go to the beach to watch the air show and navy and whatever else was going on. We got to the beach and there must have been at least 10,000 people on the beach hanging out for the shows. First thing to come were the navy, I think they had 7 ships and they were all in a line coming straight towards us. The first ship lit off some yellow/green smoke for show. Other ships also let of smoke. After the navy everyone who owned a yacht or sailboat or anything was out in the water. There must have been over 100 of them in a line sailing. Finally the air show started. The first group to come was also the best group. They consisted of 4 planes, propeller powered and they flew in formation and did tricks and such. The next group was 3 military helicopters flying by. Followed by a group of 3 planes, looked like C-130′s but I could be mistaken. The next group was cool, it was 3 F-16s I think and a fuel plane and one of the planes was being fueled as it flew over. Next up was a group of 5 fighters that flew in formation with each other and after them another 5 did the same thing. It ended with 4 different planes of El Al flying in formation to, which was cool but they were passenger jets as opposed to the military but it was still cool. The day at the beach was great.
Then it was time for the bbq! Everyone bought stuff and made whatever and brought it to the table. I made chicken soaked in a nice marinade I found online. Everyone seemed to love it as well as everything else that was brought to the table. Vegetable kabobs were being made and many other things. Ended up being a really nice day, having everyone over and just celebrating Israels Independence Day!