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Fireworks canceled at central Independence Day ceremony out of concern for veterans

People watch fireworks during a show to mark Israel's 71st Independence Day in Jerusalem on May 8, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
People watch fireworks during a show to mark Israel's 71st Independence Day in Jerusalem on May 8, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

There will be no firework display at the nation’s central Independence Day ceremony on May 4 due to concerns over the impact they have on military veterans, the Ynet news site reports.

Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper makes the announcement and calls on local authorities to follow suit and scrap fireworks displays.

One of the main events in Israel for Independence Day is the traditional torch-lighting ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, which regularly features soldiers performing elaborate foot drills and concludes with a firework display.

There has been concern for years over the impact the Independence Day fireworks have on military veterans and others with PTSD from wars or terror attacks. Another date of concern has traditionally been the Purim festival, which some mark with the use of firecrackers.

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