Events marking Israel’s Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism will begin this afternoon with a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and other dignitaries.
Later, a minute-long siren will blare, and Israelis will bow their heads in memory of the 23,085 members of the country’s security forces who died while in active service.
Remembrance Day marks the beginning of a 48-hour period during which Israelis go from reflecting on national loss to celebrating their national independence.
In addition to servicemen and women, Remembrance Day commemorates the 2,493 civilians who were killed in terror attacks.
Over the past year, 92 names were added to the list of fallen among the ranks of Israel’s security forces. That number includes all soldiers who died while in active service, whether they fell in the battlefield or died of accidents or disease.
Memorial services will be held this evening and Monday throughout the country, with millions of Israelis visiting the gravesides of deceased family members.
Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, went last night to Har Herzl cemetery in Yerushalayim to visit the grave of his brother Yoni, who was killed in 1976 while leading an assault force to free Israeli hostages at the Entebbe airport.
Today, Netanyahu, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon and other dignitaries will attend a ceremony in Yerushalayim at the building of Yad LeBanim, an association of bereaved families.
At 8 p.m., Remembrance Day will officially commence with the siren and a ceremony at the Kosel attended by President Shimon Peres and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, among others.
Another ceremony is set to take place at 9 p.m. at Yerushalayim’s Sultan’s Pool.
In Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park, Mayor Ron Huldai and the city’s chief rabbi, Rav Yisrael Meir Lau, will attend a ceremony at 7:30 p.m. An hour later, prominent Israeli performers will play at Rabin Square in an open event that will also feature video clips about the fallen.
On Monday morning, at 11 a.m., a second, two-minute-long siren will sound. During the day, there will be ceremonies in memory of Israel’s fallen police officers and those who were killed in terror attacks.
The Jewish Agency will hold a ceremony in front of its Yerushalayim building in memory of the 200 Jews who were killed worldwide in anti-Semitic attacks since the establishment of the State of Israel
Later, when darkness descends, Israel will pass into its 65th Independence Day in a transition from sirens and memory to fireworks and revelry.
Source: TIMES OF ISRAEL