Israel Marks Yom Hazikaron Memorial Day With Air Raid Sirens

Country Stands Still for 25,000 Fallen

Israeli soldier prepares to mark Hazikaron, the country’s memorial day.
getty images
Israeli soldier prepares to mark Hazikaron, the country’s memorial day.

By JTA

Published April 14, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel began memorializing its more than 25,000 fallen soldiers and terror victims.

Yom Hazikaron, or Memorial Day, began in Israel on Sunday night with the sounding of a siren.

“We will not forget even for a moment and will always remember those for whom the survival of Israel and its glory are indebted. Those who over the 65 years of the state’s existence, protected her with their bodies, their blood and their lives, defended her borders and the security of her citizens, her independence and her freedom. Israel is as dear to us as the bravery of her fighters, and as dear as the depth of the sorrow for each fallen soldier,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said, addressing bereaved families Sunday night at the national ceremony held at the Western Wall.

“The courage and spirit of the soldiers of the IDF and their commanders, their courage and faith in the righteousness of their path together with the preservation of their morals and values are the guarantees that the IDF will prevail. We know it. Our enemies have learnt it. May they not err again. We have a duty to spare no effort and no cost to end the war and bring security and peace to this country. Because even if the price of peace will be heavy – we will always be able to bear it. Terror brings death. Peace brings life. For us and our neighbors,” Peres said.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz also attended the ceremony and addressed the bereaved families.

“Today, the State of Israel honors the memory of its fallen, our soldiers and our people who fell in Israel’s wars and in the terrorist attacks. From the moment the state was established, it has not ceased to wish for peace with its neighbors, and to the same degree, its enemies have not ceased from their aspiration to wipe it off the face of the earth. We are here thanks to Israel’s fighters who joined the struggle for our existence, thanks to those who survived the wars and thanks to those who fell. We do not forget, even for a second, that we are here thanks to the fallen,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the opening of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

On Saturday night, Netanyahu visited the grave of his brother, Yonatan, who died in 1976, during the rescue of kidnapped Israelis in Entebbe, Uganda, due to security concerns.

Some 92 names were added to the list of Israel’s fallen this year. Today in Israel there are 17,553 bereaved families of security personnel, 2,324 orphans, and 4,964 widows of the IDF and the defense establishment, according to the MInistry of Defense.

A second, two-minute siren will wail on Monday, followed by a state memorial ceremony on Mount Herzl in memory of Israel’s police officers who fell in the line of duty.

More than 1.5 million Israelis will visit military cemeteries throughout Yom Hazikaron. The end of Yom Hazikaron on Monday night marks the start of Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.