Israel’s national Memorial Day commemorations to begin Sunday evening

IDF soldiers stand at attention in front of the graves of IDF soldiers buried at Mt. Herzl, Israel's national military cemetery. (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

Israel will commemorate Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s national memorial day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror on Sunday evening into Monday. Immediately following Yom Hazikaron, Israel will celebrate 69 years of existence on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day.

Yom Hazikaron will begin Sunday evening when Israelis will remember the fallen through ceremonies and a minute of silence at 8:00 PM marked by sirens through out the nation. A second siren, two minutes long, will designate two minutes of silence Monday morning. During the periods designated, just as in Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) which was recognized last week, Israelis stop everything they are doing, including driving, to honor the fallen.

IDF cemeteries will hold ceremonies for Israel’s fallen soldiers through out Israel. It is traditional in Israel for an Israeli flag with a black ribbon to be placed on each grave of those who fell in service of the State of Israel.

Yom Hazikaron was implemented in 1963 and is a national day of remembrance for all who have fallen for the creation of the State of Israel. It is one of four Jewish holidays and remembrance days added to the Jewish calendar since the establishment of the State of Israel.

Israel mourns a total of 23,544 fallen this year. Israel will recognize the total of 555 missing soldiers, with special emphasis on two soldiers, St. Sgt. Oron Shaul and Sec. Lt. Hadar Goldin, who were both killed during Operation Protective Edge, their remains held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Ahead of Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel announced it would closing border crossings into the Gaza Strip and West Bank for security purposes.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, April 30, 2017, and reposted with permission.