Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day)

Yom Hazaikron or “Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day” is today (May 9th). Today a total of 22,867 fallen soldiers and 3,971 victims of terrorism are remembered by the country. The day begins at sundown (around 8pm) on the 8th – [note: days on the Jewish calendar go from sundown to sundown] with a one minute air raid siren and another two minute siren is heard at 11am on the 9th. Just like on the Holocaust Memorial Day, everything stops for these sirens (people, traffic, everything). It’s amazing to see cars just suddenly stop and their drivers get out and stand for a minute, and you can even passengers on buses and sheruts stop and stand.

Because (almost) everyone is required to serve in the IDF, I would go as far as to say that this day has more personal meaning to the Israeli people than our American Memorial day does to us. And because the army plays such a big role in everyone’s lives, most cities and institutions (Rehovot – seen in the photos), and the Weizmann included, have their own ceremonies where people share songs and testimonies about their friends and families that have died in the wars or terror attacks.

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~ by jonathanmtsai on May 9, 2011.

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