Today is Yom Hazikaron, the day of remembrance for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. The day was marked by a two minute nationwide siren and moments of silence at 11am, in memory of the 23,741 soldiers who have fallen in defense of Israel since 1860 and 3,150 terror victims (4 of whom were just killed by the rocket attacks from Gaza).
Those who died in the service of the country include IDF soldiers, members of the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad, the Israel Police, the Prisons Service and those who died while serving in the pre-state underground militias and the Jewish Brigade in the British Army.
The Jewish Agency held a memorial service which also included the 12 Jews who were murdered in the Pittsburgh and Poway synagogue shootings.
The Defense Ministry said that it expected more than 1.5 million people to visit the country’s 52 military cemeteries and hundreds of military burial plots stretching from Kiryat Shmona in the north to Eilat in the south. This year, ceremonies were also held at some 50 memorials throughout the country.
During Yom Hazikaron, cafes and places of entertainment are closed and radio and television programming features sad songs. The names of all fallen are read over the course of the day on special television and radio programs. At sunset the day transitions into Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day, with a ceremony at the national military cemetery on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, where the national flag is returned to full staff.
May Israel be blessed with peace and unity in the merit of those who gave their lives to ensure its survival.