On Memorial Day, Rivlin vows to remember soldiers missing in action

“Nor do we forget the soldiers who did not return from the battlefields,” Rivlin stated at the opening ceremony for Israel’s Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror.

The opening ceremony for Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s national Memorial Day, began Sunday evening with a one-minute siren heard across and country, followed by the official opening ceremony at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Smaller ceremonies and events across the country also commemorated the fallen IDF soldiers and victims of terror. Since 1860, the beginning of the modern Zionist movement, 23,544 men and women have fallen defending the pre-state Jewish communities and the State of Israel, and 3,117 men, women and children were killed by terrorists.

Yom Hazikaron is one of the most somber dates on the Israeli calendar. Places of entertainment are shut down; radio and TV stations air documentaries about the fallen soldiers and terror victims.

“Our liberty is sacred, both sacred and hard. We know that there is a price to be paid for our existence here, for our liberty. There is a price, and we, in awe and terror, are willing to pay that price,” President Reuven Rivlin stated at the Western Wall ceremony.

“Nor do we forget the soldiers who did not return from the battlefields,” he added. “The task of bringing home the missing and the fallen soldiers whose place of burial is unknown has not been completed. Our commitment to those boys remains firm. And, together, this evening, we send our prayers for a full recovery to all the injured as they struggle day by day.”

Over the past year, 97 IDF soldiers have died, including 37 disabled IDF veterans.

Yom Hazikaron, which is observed from sunset to sunset, according to the Hebrew calendar, is immediately followed by Yom Ha’atzmaut – Independence Day celebrations.

“Although the lives of the fallen were cut off in hostility, thanks to them, we can say wholeheartedly tomorrow that the music of the people of Israel will not stop, the people of Israel are alive,” IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot affirmed.

By: World Israel News Staff