Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Today is Yom Hazikaron

Israel's Memorial Day

Today is Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers. Yom Hazikaron is a somber day throughout Israel. Israelis don't listen to music, and many attend memorial ceremonies for relatives and friends who died in combat.

Air raid sirens are played throughout the country in the evening and again in the morning (days in the Jewish calendar begin in the evening). Upon hearing the sirens, Israelis stand in silence. Drivers stop their cars and stand as well.

The date chosen for Yom Hazikaron was 4 Iyar, the day before Israel's national independence day. Some Israelis found it awkward to put a sad day next to a celebratory holiday, but by doing so the government made it clear: without the soldiers who gave their lives, there would be no Israeli independence to celebrate.

The total number of soldiers
and security personnel who fell since the War of Independence is 20,368.
The total including those who fell in the struggle for the state before 1948 is 21,954.
(This number includes disabled IDF veterans who later died from their wounds and non-IDF personnel who fell in the line of duty)
169 soldiers fell since last Yom Hazikaron - 5764.

On This Day, We Honor The Memory of the Young Men & Women Who Gave Their Lives For The Creation And Security of The Jewish State.

With their death they commanded us life!