Make Remembrance Day meaningful by visiting Israel's Negev desert

In honor of Remembrance Day, some memorial sites in the Negev will be made more accessible to the public than usual.

IDF soldiers place Israeli flags on the graves of fallen soldiers at Mount Hertzl ahead of Israel's Memorial Day (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
IDF soldiers place Israeli flags on the graves of fallen soldiers at Mount Hertzl ahead of Israel's Memorial Day
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Israel's Negev desert contains a wealth of monuments commemorating critical events and people in the Jewish state's history, making it an appropriate place to spend Israel's Remembrance and Independence Days this week. 

In honor of Remembrance Day and Independence Day, travel company Negev Tourism is offering free guided tours of the military memorials around the southern region this weekend, May 6-7.

The organizers seek to make the sites even more accessible to the public than usual, and encourage tourists and locals to visit locations they might have ordinarily ignored. 

Ramon: The Ramon Crater in Israel’s hot, dry Negev Desert. (credit: (EDUARD MARMET/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS))Ramon: The Ramon Crater in Israel’s hot, dry Negev Desert. (credit: (EDUARD MARMET/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS))

Each year, four different sites are selected for the special free tours. This year, the event's organizers have chosen the following locations:

The French Commando Lookout

This site is dedicated to the memory of the "French Commando" unit, which operated within the Palmach Ninth Battalion during the War of Independence and fought on the Egyptian front during Operations Yoav and Horev.

Shepherd's Parking Lot

This is an area in memory of Barbara Proper, a founding member of Kibubtz Sde Boker, who was killed while grazing the kibbutz's flock.

 Bir Asluj (Resource Well)

This well was built in memory of 34 IDF soldiers who fell in the War of Independence. 

Tamir Shimko Monument

This monument is in memory of Tamir Shimko, an IDF soldier who fell during a paratrooper patrol training exercise from a mortar explosion.

Other notable monuments to visit in the Negev include the 99th Brigade Monument, a commemoration of the 21 casualties of the 99th Brigade, formerly the Negev Brigade, who fell in the Six Day War in the battles over Abu Aguila as well as the  Yosef "Bambi" Yair Monument, in memory of Yosef "Bambi" Yair, who was killed on Friday, December 19, 1952, in an ambush by infiltrators, on his way back to Sde Boker after traveling to Be'er Sheva to renew supplies for the settlement.