Chris Matthews fondly looks back on his first trip to Israel while remembering the founding of the state of Israel nearly 60 years ago. "The first time I visited that incredible country was in 1971, when it was still in the afterglow of its wondrous victory against all sides in the Six Day War. I remember sitting in a restaurant. It was really more of a bar as an older fellow, who'd had a few, loudly proclaimed his pride in a group of soldiers who'd just entered the room. How exciting to be in such a little country that had just taken on such tough odds and won!!Being a movie buff, I spent a lot of time in movie theaters in Israel, where everybody's a movie buff, and looking down at the Uzi lying on the seat next to me that had been brought along by the young woman member of the IDF, sitting near me. Talk about a self-reliant country where some guy's date is carrying an automatic weapon along for the night. Yes, I've been back a trio of times since and have loved the mix of the old and the new, the mix of the three great religious sites side by side in the Old City of Jerusalem where I loved visiting the old Church of the Holy Sepulcher. I feel at home there and have nothing but joy and good will and Shalom to wish to this great and gutsy country on its anniversary.