Israel Commemorates Fallen IDF Soldiers on Memorial Day

Since 1860, 22,993 soldiers have fallen with 126 this past year; Israelis stand for a minute of silence to remember those fallen.

A ceremony for Israel's fallen soldiers began Tuesday evening on the eve of Memorial Day in Yad Lebanim in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, Israel's Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will be participating in the ceremony.

A ceremony for Israel's Memorial Day in 2011 - Emil Salman
Emil Salman

A one-minute siren wailed throughout the country at 8 P.M. on Tuesday evening, as Israelis stood for a moment of silence.

Following the siren, the national ceremony at the Western Wall began. The ceremony was attended by President Shimon Peres, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, IDF Chief Benny Gantz and members of bereaved families.

According to the IDF Spokesperson, 22,993 soldiers have fallen since 1860. 126 soldiers have fallen since last year and there are 10,524 bereaved families in Israel – of them 2,396 are orphans and 4,992 are widows.

On the eve of Memorial Day, Netanyahu sent his yearly missive to bereaved Israeli families.

"As a son to a bereaved family, Memorial Day has special significance for me. This day isn't just a national memorial day, it is also a private memorial day for me and the members of my family," Netanyahu wrote.