Israel comes to standstill as siren wails for Memorial Day

On Tuesday evening, Israel began commemorating its annual Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Sirens sounded nationwide at 8 p.m. local time on Tuesday and Israelis halted and stood silently with heads bowed for a solemn moment in memory of the dead during the Jewish state’s Yom Hazikaron, a national memorial day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks.

In 2019, Israel mourns the loss of 23,741 soldiers who died fighting for Israel since 1860, according to statistics released by the Defense Ministry’s Families and Commemoration Department.

Over the past year, 56 IDF soldiers died and another 40 IDF veterans passed away as a result of injuries and disabilities.

The official memorial ceremony honoring the dead is being held at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

Memorial Day is one of the most somber days of the year for Israel, as bereaved families visit cemeteries and take part in remembrance ceremonies. Restaurants, theaters and other entertainment venues close, and TV and radio broadcast melancholy music and stories about Israel’s wars and the dead.

The country mourns through Wednesday, and then will transition into jubilant celebration at sundown with the marking of Israel’s 71st anniversary of independence.