Mount of Olives panorama

Mount of Olives panorama
A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fourth of July Celebration at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence

On July 3, I was invited to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at the official Independence Day celebration at the residence of the U.S. ambassador.  I am used to singing in groups---usually of over 300!---so I was a little anxious, but it went well.  President Shimon Peres of Israel was present.  Prime Minister Netanyahu had been invited, but he had recently suffered a soccer injury, so he made some remarks by video link instead.

It was an honor to be part of the celebration, but it involved getting there a couple of hours early and then doing a lot of sitting around.  The upside: lots of American vendors provided food---for instance, McDonalds, Dominos Pizza, Coca cola, and Ben & Jerry's. And there were great fireworks at the end.

During sound check

The ambassador's residence is right on the Mediterranean

It was quite a party!

Waiting to start with Hagit Yassu, who sang the Israeli anthem HaTiqva

Ms Julie Fisher, the ambassador's wife, and Ambassador Daniel Shapiro, sit on either side of Shimon Peres, the president of Israel

The posting of the colors

Waiting during the posting of the colors

"O say can you see . . ."
President Peres delivering his remarks

Prime Minister Netanyahu by video link

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