183 names added this year to Remembrance Day rolls

Starting Sunday evening, the country will mourn almost 23,000 men, women who have fallen since 1860 in uniform or during attacks.

May 6, 2011 02:22
2 minute read.
Soldiers' graves are visited at a cemetery

Remeberance Day 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

When the nation bows its head Sunday evening for Remembrance Day it will be mourning the 22,867 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, 183 soldiers and security personnel died while serving the state. The figure includes the Prisons Service victims of the Carmel fire.

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Remembrance Day officially begins at 8 p.m. Sunday when a one-minute siren sounds across the country. President Shimon Peres will open the state ceremony at the Western Wall, which will be attended by Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and representatives of bereaved families.

On Monday, when a two-minute siren sounds at 11 a.m. nationwide, the day’s main memorial ceremony will begin at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery. A special ceremony for overseas Mahal volunteers who fought and died during the War of Independence will take place at the Mahal memorial near the Sha’ar Hagai Junction.

Ceremonies will be held at an additional 43 cemeteries, and the Defense Ministry said it expects over 1.5 million people to visit soldiers’ graves throughout the day.

In honor of Remembrance Day, the Defense Ministry has placed a miniature flag and black ribbon on the graves of all fallen soldiers. On Wednesday, Gantz laid a flag on the grave of the latest soldier to have died during his service – Cpl. Niot Watzman from the Golani Brigade, who was killed during a diving accident on vacation in Eilat in April.

“Israel’s renewal was achieved through a rare combination of vision and action, but in order for it to materialize, generations of soldiers and commanders needed to fight and fall,” Gantz said.

This is also the eighth year the Defense Ministry has provided a service to assist people in locating graves of the fallen. It provides the exact location, and gives a map of the best route to take from the cemetery gate.

The ministry has also purchased over 1 million flowers, which it will distribute free at the state cemeteries. The service is available on a special website sponsored by its Department for Commemorating Soldiers and can be accessed at: http://www.izkor.gov.il.

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