Every year, the Israeli Independence Day events are opened with the official torches-lighting ceremony in Mt. Hertzl. This year, two of the 12 torches lighters are Brigadir (Res.) Dani Gold, known as the man who initiated the development of the “Iron Dome” defense system. He served as the Head of Research & Development Branch in the Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.
“I feel great Pride”, he says. “But it is important to mention that I didn’t do it by myself. When I found out I’m going to light a torch, I immediately thought about my project partners, 400 representatives from the different Defense Industries and officers from the IDF and other military and civilian branches who managed to create something extraordinary”.
“In my opinion, the performances of the IAF and Air Defense Division are admirable”, he says. “We have well-trained, excellent people”. As a man dealing with research and development, he wishes to convey a message. “The ‘Iron Dome’ system is the proof that when something is important enough, it can be done – from the level of vision, creativity and innovation to management and execution”.
Alice Miller is the second person to be lighting the Independence Day torch in Jerusalem. Miller is considered a pioneer in the issue of women service in the IAF.
In 1994, Alice filed a petition against the Ministry of Defense and the IDF following her inability to take the tests for pilot course as a female. Israeli Supreme Court accepted the appeal and the way to various courses – and the pilot course among them – was opened for women.
Miller herself did not pass the tests for the pilot course, but served as officer in the IAF after completing her BA in engineering.