Israeli soldiers place flags on the graves of fallen soldiers in Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem, May 2, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yom HaZikaron

Israel pays tribute to the soldiers who fell defending their country.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

On Tuesday night and Wednesday, Israelis will pay tribute to the soldiers who fell defending their country.

The day also honors deceased members of the Israel Police, Mossad, Israeli Prison Service and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). This includes Druze, Bedouins, Christians and Muslims.

In 1980, the Knesset expanded Memorial Day to include people killed in action going back to 1860, when Jews first began moving outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. This includes members of various pre-state underground militias who fought the British.

Memorial Day was later expanded to include civilians killed in terror attacks and hostile acts.

Sirens will wail at 8:00 p.m. and again at 11:00 a.m. as the nation joins in a national minute of silence. Ceremonies will be held across the country and families of the fallen will visit the graves.

Here’s a by the numbers look at Yom HaZikaron based on numbers released by Israel’s Defense Ministry and Hebrew media reports.

• 56: Soldiers killed during their military service since Israel’s last Memorial Day.

• 84: Disabled veterans who died due to complications from injuries sustained during their service since last Memorial Day.

• 24,068: Overall number of those who died in service to Israel and the pre-state Jewish community since 1860.

• 4,216: Civilian victims of terror.

• 52: Number of Israeli military cemeteries.

A torch-lighting ceremony at the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery on Wednesday evening marks the transition from the somber Memorial Day to the joy of Independence Day.