Israel marks Memorial Day for the 23,544 men and women who fell in defense of the state and its precursor and the 4,128 victims of terrorism since its establishment. This year, their ranks were swelled by 97 soldiers and officers who died in action and 37 others who succumbed to their wounds.
The Yizkor memorial flame was lit at the Western Wall in Jerusalem at 8 p.m. Sunday night in the presence of national leaders. A siren sounded across the country.
Sunday morning, President Reuven Rivlin inaugurated a new National Hall of Remembrance for Fallen Soldiers at the National Cemetery on Mount Herzl, attended by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and dignitaries. Each brick is inscribed with the name of a fallen serviceman. Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott wrote in a message to the men and women in uniform: "In their death, the fallen have bequeathed us a legacy and the will to defend the nation and wield the sword to guard its freedom."
On Monday at 11 a.m., a two-minute siren marked the official memorial ceremonies around the country Thousands of bereaved families visited the military graveyards and memorial sites. The official ceremony honoring the victims of hostile acts takes place at 1 p.m.
Memorial Day ends at 8 p.m. on Monday evening with a torch lighting ceremony and a parade on Mount Herzl. This ceremony ushers in the celebration of Israel's 69th Independence Day.