The evening opened with the film “war diary”, which presented a chronologic development of events a year ago. Then, a panel of experts was assembled, led by Lt. Col. Moti Havakuk, head of history and information at the IAF.
“It was a very intense and prolonged war”, said Lt. Col. Havakuk. “The army acted on two fronts simultaneously: while fighting the Hezbollah (assisted by Syria) at the northern border, there were also attacks coming in from the Gaza strip. It wasn’t a classic war. The rocket barrage placed the heart of our country at the front of the war. 44 citizens and 119 soldiers were killed”.
Lt. Col. Havakuk reviewed the war’s milestones, from the kidnapping of Corporal Gilad Shalit, operation “Summer Rain”, the kidnapping of Ehud Goldvasser and Eldad Regev, air force attacks, rocket launch by the Hezbollah, operation “Direction Change” and the commencement of fire truce. “The 142 honorary citations and awards given after the war demonstrate that all the values upon which we were raised, exist to this day 60 years after the forming of our country”, concluded Lt. Co. Havakuk.
The evening concluded with personal stories:
– Col. Z, head of safety and quality control, and a pilot at the “First Combat Helicopters Squadron”, who received the Chief of General Staff honorary citation, told about a rescue operation from the Ita A-Sha’av village.
– Major Noam, a pilot at the “Night Transporters” squadron told about rescuing wounded soldiers of the 13th flotilla (Special Forces unit).
– Major (in reserve) Chen of the “First UAV Squadron” told about how he found a missing soldier, when deciphered a UAV terrain photographs.
– Major Yoav, commander of the “Nachal commando” (a special paratroopers force) told about operation “Sons returned to their border”, a story about the rescue of the body of Sergeant Major Keren Tendler, an airborn mechanic who was killed at a helicopter crash.