Posted on | April 19, 2010 | By Administrator | 4 Comments
Yom Hazikron is the day on which Israel honors its war veterans. National memorial services are held in the presence of Israel’s top leadership and military personnel. The day opens the preceding evening at 20:00 (8:00 pm), given that in the Hebrew calendar system days begin at sunset, with a siren. The siren is heard all over the country and lasts for one minute, during which Israelis stop everything (including driving, which stops highways) and stand in silence, commemorating the fallen and showing respect. Many national-religious Jews say prayers for the souls of the fallen soldiers at this time as well. The official ceremony to mark the opening of the day takes place at the Western Wall, at which time the flag of Israel is lowered to half mast.
A two-minute siren is heard the following morning, at 11:00, which marks the opening of the official memorial ceremonies and private remembrance gathering which are held at each cemetery where soldiers are buried. The day officially draws to a close between 19:00 and 20:00 (7–8:00 p.m.) in the official ceremony of Israel Independence Day on Mount Herzl, when the flag of Israel is returned to full mast.
Scheduling Yom Hazikaron right before Yom Ha-Atzma’ut is intended to remind people of the price paid for independence and of what was achieved with the soldiers’ sacrifice. This transition shows the importance of this day among Israelis, most of whom have served in the armed forces or have a connection with people who were killed during their military service. To families of the fallen, however, this isn’t always a welcomed transition as mourning while most Israelis plan their Yom Ha-Atzma’ut celebrations isn’t simple.
Here is a link to a memorial video for two talmidim/soldiers from Bnei David who were killed in Lebanon.