On the 4th of Iyar by Hebrew calendar the national day of mourning is commemorated in Israel. It is the “Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism”– Yom Hazikaron. This day is followed by the Independence Day of Israel, celebrated on the next day.
On this day we commemorate the soldiers of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), who fell in Israel’s wars or while they were on duty, as well as police officers, members of other security forces and victims of terror.
There are more than 22,000 people, who gave their lives for the formation and developing the state of Israel. And this sad counting is continued…
This count starts from 1860, when is believed the struggle for the State of Israel began. The death toll includes the military, police officers, Shabak / Shin Beth officers (General Security Service), Mossad (Foreign Intelligence Service) and the soldiers of the Jewish Brigade who fought in World War II, and the soldiers of the underground organizations that acted in Palestine before 1948.
Like all Jewish holidays, Yom Hazikaron begins in the evening. At 20:00 one-minute siren sounds and the entire nation honors the fallen by standing in silence. An official ceremony is held in Jerusalem at the Western Wall on the Temple Mount. The national flags are lowered to the half staff. On the next morning, at 11:00 a two-minute siren is heard in Israel. After that, the memorial services at all the Military Cemeteries are started. This day ends at 19:00 by the official ceremony at Mount Herzl. The flags are raised to the full-must and the celebration of Yom HaAztmaut (The Independence Day of Israel) begins.
Yom Hazikaron is followed by the day of joy and celebration. That’s right! All those victims weren’t for nothing — the Jewish nation is alive and the land of its ancestors belongs to it. Our heroes gave their lives for that. We are grateful for their sacrifice and will never forget their act of bravery.