Monday is Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, when the many brave men and women who have given their lives to establish and maintain the state of Israel will be remembered. Just days shy of this important holiday, Israel’s new Remembrance Hall was unveiled. Located at the entry to Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem, which is right next to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, the Remembrance Hall is designed to honor each of the 23,000 soldiers who died defending the Holy Land.
Visitors will descend a flight of broad stone steps into a corridor where video of soldiers from different eras, starting with the pre-IDF Palmach forces, are projected onto a wall. The hall leads to an open space lined with benches, with an 18-meter-tall (59 feet) column made from over 6,000 stone bricks opening like a chimney into the sky overhead.
A spiral path, supported by concrete pillars, winds upward around the column. The names of the fallen soldiers and the dates of their deaths are inscribed on the bricks lining the wall of the 260-meter (853-foot) path. A candle will be lit on the anniversary of each death. The names are arranged by the date the soldiers were killed, regardless of rank or unit, starting with the most recently killed at the bottom of the path. Light from the outdoors shines through gaps in the bricks. Commemorative columns toward the top of the path will display photos and information on soldiers who were killed on that day of the year.
The end of the passageway, bearing the names of fighters killed in the 1930s, opens into the Mount Herzl cemetery.