President Shimon Peres presented the certificates to Staff Sgt. Shay Kricheli and Staff Sgt. Hagar Zohar, who were injured during rehearsals for the Independence Day ceremony on Mt. Herzl
On Sunday, President Shimon Peres and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz presented certificates of excellence to a pair of outstanding soldiers injured in rehearsals for the Independence Day ceremony on Mount Herzl.
The certificates were presented to Staff Sgt. Shay Kricheli, a coordination and liaison NCO in the Civil Administration, and to Staff Sgt. Hagar Zohar of the Aerial Defense Formation. Both were to be honored on Independence Day, but their injuries prevented them from attending the ceremony.
At the opening of the ceremony, the President asked to hear about the soldiers’ medical conditions and rehabilitation process. Staff Sgt. Hagar told the president that her medical condition is improving, and Shay told the President that he is “improving day to day, thank God.”
“We are proud of the parents who grew such amazing children; it is simply a pleasure," President Peres told the outstanding soldiers and their families. "Your children excel in three ways. First, they have excelled in their service for which they won excellence. Excellence is not a gift from the sky; it is something you have to struggle very hard to achieve. Second, in their behavior following their injuries –though this blow came suddenly – you did not lose your temper. And now you are fighting a third battle, that of rehabilitation.”
“I’m sure with your determination, you can overcome this injury. It is very rare that you meet two young people who manage to overcome three such challenges. I want to tell both you and your parents how much we love and appreciate you,” said the President.
Lt. Gen. Gantz thanked the President and told the soldiers, “You were outstanding prior to being injured, and it’s a shame that the honor has to come in these circumstances, but I’m sure that with your personality and ability, you will fight through, beat this injury, overcome it, and be better for it. I think the way you have dealt with the incident reflects on the reason why you have been chosen for excellence. From both myself and the IDF, I wish you health and the best of luck.”