Memorial day 1993

  • Issue: April 1993
  • Designer: O. Meirav
  • Stamp size: 30.8 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 178
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

The Oath sworn by the physicians and medics of the Medical Corps has come to be regarded by the Israel Defence Forces as a whole, as an ethic standard establishing that everything must be done to help those wounded in the field, and under no circumstances whatsoever may a causality be abandoned.

The present Medical Corps of the IDF has its origins in the "Medical Service" which existed prior to the establishment of the State. The "Service" was primarily involved in providing on-the-spot medical aid to units of the Hagana, during training exercises and defence operations, as well as aid to those pioneering new settlements and carrying out acts of protest against the British Mandate Authorities.

During the Mandate period, this "Medical Service" was quite small but was assisted by civilian medical organisations, such as the Magen David Adom, the Workers' Sick Fund clinics, and the Hadassah Medical Organisation, primarily when it came to hospitalisation of the wounded. The main importance of the "Service" in military terms was, for the future, in its gradual training of what was to become a large staff of medics able to step into the breach in an emergency.

At the outbreak of the War of Independence, the "Medical Service" was expanded by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Dr. Haim Sheba, who was later to become the first Surgeon General of the IDF. An independent infrastructure of army hospitals and convalescent institutions totalling thousands of beds was added to its command. Over the years the former "Service" has become a very experienced and greatly enlarged Medical Corps. Today the Medical Corps incorporates a network of clinics, from those for combat units in the field, to specialised clinics, a military convalescent center, and sophisticated dental clinics whose function it is to provide the soldier with both day-to-day and, if necessary, long-term medical treatment. The Medical Corps invests much in improving the training, equipment and functioning of its medical staff. It is a progressive corps which has acquired an immense amount of professional know-how, since it came into being, been involved in research, and has specialised in a number of fields such as medicine in emergency and mass injury situations, rescue, treatment of burns, medicine related to underwater diving, aviational medicine, and preventive medicine.

The Medical Corps has set itself two prime considerations: on the one hand, the constant concern for the soldier's health in times of respite, and, on the other hand, being on constant alert to provide comprehensive and progressive medical solutions to casualties caused by combat or terrorist attacks.

In its concern for the individual, the Medical Corps contributed significantly to the abolition of the practice of limiting the drinking of water, to setting limitations on training exercises, to reducing damage due to over-exertion and other things, to raising awareness regarding the safekeeping of appropriate levels of public hygiene (which very significantly reduced the incidence of infectious diseases), and to developing a diet to meet the physical needs of the soldier.

As regards the treatment of causalities, the Medical Corps works according to the principle that first aid essential to saving the causality's life must be given as close to the front as possible, and supplementary treatment behind the lines. With this in mind the Corps is organised to provide treatment at different levels, from the medic in the combat unit to the surgical companies behind the lines. From a medical point of view the Corps can treat any problem from giving artificial respiration and conducting emergency operations close to the lines of fire system to plastic surgery and rehabilitation behind the lines. All this is performed by very experienced medical teams using the most advanced equipment.

The Medical Corps worked indefatigably throughout all the wars in which the State of Israel has been involved, from the retaliatory actions of the '50's to the on-going terrorist activities of today. The "walking doctor" who accompanies the paratroopers and other elite units into battle has been augmented, over time, by large teams working with helicopters and "flying hospitals" (which proved themselves in the Entebbe Operation, for instance). The Medical Corps has also offered humanitarian assistance when there have been disasters in different parts of the world. The Corps' main asset has always been and remains, despite its technical sophistication, its highly trained and devoted personnel. A large number of doctors and medics have been decorated over the years, on account of their devotion to duty and steadfastness to the causes. The oath of the physician and the medic serving in the IDF has not been broken, and it expresses itself in times of battle and of respite alike, undergoing constant renewal and effort to ensure that it is kept as required under all circumstances.

The Memorial to the Fallen of the Medical Corps

The Memorial to the Fallen of the Medical Corps is designed in the form of tents of the Battalion Causality Station which serves as the focal point of the Corps on the battlefield. The BCS is the first place to which causalities are taken after being given first-aid at the site of the battle. At the BCS, essential treatment is continued by experienced doctors and medics, saving the lives of many causalities and easing their pain.

The Memorial was designed by the architect Akiva Lomnitz, and is located in the Military Convalescent Center, at the fop of a hill on the Carmel, near Haifa.

The site of the Memorial will, in the future, also contain a museum of the history of the Medical Corps and document the traditions of bravery and heroism of its soldier, in addition to serving as a monument to the memory of the fallen. There will be a square for gatherings and parades, a place for the Eternal Flame and a wall inscribed with the names of the fallen.

There will also be classrooms and lecture halls with audio-visual equipment for educational activities, with a view to making this an active memorial to the memory of the fallen.

top top

Memorial day 1993