Israel Independence Day--YOM HAATZMAUT--which will begin tonight, celebrates the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.
Today, YOM HAZIKARON, the day preceding this celebration, is devoted to honor the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the achievement of Israel Independence and its continued existence.
The total number of soldiers and security personnel who fell since the War of Independence in 1948 until today is 22,993 souls. Most of them young men in their early twenties.
This number includes disabled IDF (Israel Defense Force) veterans who later died from their wounds and non-IDF personnel who fell in the line of duty.
In Israel tens of thousands of people attend cemeteries to mourn their children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and friends who fell on the wars.
Har Hertzl, in Yerushalaim, the most important military cemetery. Most of the official memorial ceremonies take place there.
In the morning, at 11.00 AM, a siren is sound. Everyone and everything stops for two minutes: people, cars, businesses, public transportation, etc. honoring the memory of the fallen heroes (see here and here). Many Israelis would spend the rest of the day at home watching on the Israeli TV the short movies prepared especially for the occasion in which they show the lives, the bravery and the heroism of the fallen soldiers, especially those who were killed this year.
Please, light a candle in their memory.
May the Almighty treasure their souls in the Gan Eden.
May HaShem protect our soldiers and shield them from the hands of our enemies.
May HaShem bring peace, everlasting peace, to Medinat Israel. AMEN.