A unique aspect to the Jewish State is the observance of a somber Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, followed by joyous Independence Day festivities.

Yom Hazikaron – Israel’s Memorial Day – is a somber annual event that Israelis observe seriously.

The observance of Yom Hazikaron began with the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 and was enacted into law in 1963. The annual date is the fourth of the Hebrew month of Iyar.

Sirens were heard throughout the country in the evening at 8 pm. Citizens stand for two minutes of silence in memory of the thousands of soldiers and victims of terror who died protecting the Jewish state.

Shops, restaurants and places of entertainment are closed. Radio and television programming are geared to the observance of Yom Hazikaron.

Yom Hazikaron

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara visit the grave of the Israeli leader’s heroic brother, who fell defending the Jewish State.

The main Yom Hazikaron ceremony is a traditional memorial candle lighting at the Western Wall. Several other, smaller programs take place throughout the country, such as prayer services and poetry readings.

The next morning, sirens sound at 11 am.

There is hardly an Israeli who has not lost a close relative or friend in Israel’s wars or in a terror attack, and hundreds of thousands traditionally attend memorial events at military ceremonies.

A major service will be held at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem at the conclusion of the holiday and is immediately followed by intense Yom Haatzmaut – Independence Day – festivities.

This ability to both remember and grieve for the fallen and to rejoice in the miracle of the Jewish State is unique to the People of Israel, who value life and do not give up. Such is the success of the State of Israel.