Sunday, April 14, 2013

The day preceding Israel's Independence Day is Yom Hazikaron, Remembrance Day for Israeli Fallen Soldiers & Victims of Terror; essentially those who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel and thereafter. Though it has been traditionally dedicated to fallen soldiers, commemoration has recently been extended to victims of terror as well.

Yom Hazikaron differs in character and mood from the American Memorial Day. For 24 hours (from sunset to sunset) all places of public entertainment (theaters, cinemas, nightclubs, pubs, etc.) are closed. The most noticeable feature of the day is the sound of siren that is heard throughout the country twice, during which the entire nation observes a two-minutes "standstill" of all traffic and daily activities. The first siren marks the beginning of Memorial Day at 8:00 P.M., and the second is at 11:00 A.M., before the public recitation of prayers in the military cemeteries. All radio and television stations broadcast programs portraying the lives and heroic deeds of fallen soldiers. Most of the broadcasting time is devoted to Israeli songs that convey the mood of the day.

Yom Hazikaron 2010 : Natan tribute for Israel Defense Forces