Ms. Yana Marcus of KKL-JNF's European Desk also addressed the visiting dignitaries. "Without the vision of people such as those who founded KKL-JNF, David Ben-Gurion would not have been able to announce the establishment of the state of Israel," she said "KKL-JNF feels very connected to the Czech Republic. In the Yatir forest in the Negev, the largest planted forest in Israel, there is a forest grove in honor of Thomas Garrick Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia. This forest grove is supported by friends of KKL-JNF in the Czech Republic, and I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to them." Ms. Marcus noted that Prime Minister Nečas's tree was the third tree to be planted by a Czech head of state in the Grove of Nations. Trees have previously been planted by former Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, and Mr. Vaclav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic.
Before the Prime Minister planted his olive tree, the Planter's Prayer was read in Czech by Zosa Vyoralova, director of the KKL-JNF office in Prague. After the tree was planted, Mr. Michelson presented Prime Minister a certificate attesting to his having planted a tree in the Jerusalem Forest Grove of the Nations. Light refreshments were served after the brief but moving ceremony.