As the day winds down in the Holy Land, the people of Israel are preparing to observe their Memorial Day. The Times of Israel reports that Israelis will mark Yom HaZikaron with sirens, songs, and solemn services:
Israel’s memorial day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism will formally begin at sundown Tuesday, as the country pauses for an annual remembrance marked with candle lightings, memorial services and melancholy songs.
A siren will ring out at 8 p.m. as Israelis pause to observe a moment of silence, marking the start of the commemoration day nationwide, with an official state candlelighting ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem taking place at the same time.
Israel’s 8.5 million citizens will be recalling 23,447 young men and women who perished in defense of the country. Among the communities who serve in the IDF and other security forces — Jews, Druze, Circassians and some Muslim communities such as the Negev Bedouin — there are few who do not personally know someone affected by the loss.
The past year saw 68 Israeli soldiers and police killed in the line of duty, as well as 32 civilians murdered in terror attacks.
In total, 2,576 Israeli civilians and pre-state Zionists have died in terror attacks since 1880.
The commemoration day, established in 1951 by then-prime minister and defense minister David Ben Gurion, was set for the 4th of Iyar, the day before Independence Day, which begins immediately after Memorial Day on Wednesday night.