Yom HaZikaron - Israel prepares to mourn its fallen defenders

When the nation bows its head on Sunday evening for Remembrance Day, it will be mourning the 22,682 servicemen and women who fell defending the Land of Israel since 1860 – the year the first Jews left Jerusalem’s Old City walls to settle other parts of the country.

In the past year, 111 soldiers and security personnel were killed in the service of the state. Remembrance Day officially begins at 8 p.m., when a one-minute siren will sound across the country. President Shimon Peres will open the official ceremony at the Western Wall.

On Tuesday, the main memorial will take place at the capital’s Mount Herzl military cemetery. A two-minute siren will sound at 11 a.m.

This year is also the seventh year that the Defense Ministry has provided a service to assist people in locating graves of the fallen. It not only provides the block and parcel of a soldier’s grave, but also gives a map of the best route to take from the gates of the military cemeteries. The ministry said it anticipated that 1.4 million Israelis would visit the 43 military cemeteries.

The service is available on a Web site sponsored by the Defense Ministry’s Department for Commemorating Soldiers and programmed by a civilian firm, at http://www.izkor.gov.il. (JPOST)

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