Memorial Day: Israel Comes to a Standstill to Honor 23,928 of Its Fallen Soldiers
i24 News – Israel came to a standstill at 11 am on Wednesday as a two-minute siren sounded across the country to commemorate 23,928 of its fallen soldiers and 4,176 civilians slain in terrorist attacks on Memorial Day.
At the main state ceremony held in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We are marking 73 years of resurrection, 73 years of sorrow, 73 years of revival. We all stand together unified and hurt. Boys and girls whom we raised and exalted, and who for 73 years have secured by sacrifice Israel’s independence.”
Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Nadav Argaman said that “memory is not just pain and yearning — it is a duty. It is thousands of candles illuminating our path forward, which the fallen have paved … We are one human tissue. One nation, in one land, with one state — which we will protect with all our might.”
Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Isaac Herzog, delivered an address at the Mount Herzl ceremony as well. “The shadowed memory of the fallen cover our hearts as a cloud. The tears flow, the body misses. The people of Israel unite with its dead.”
Fifty-two ceremonies were held in military cemeteries and memorial sites throughout the country. Following the national siren, a flyby of fighter jets passed above the Mount Herzl ceremony.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, the ceremonies were open to bereaved families only. Ahead of the national day of mourning, the Defense Ministry asked the public to “respect the bereaved families and allow them to visit the cemeteries and unite with the memory of their loved ones while safeguarding their health,” outlet N12 reported.