After a missile landed near his company of paratroopers during the Second Lebanon War, Michael Zamir lay wounded in an open field in southern Lebanon, wondering if anyone would come to his rescue. But after eight hours of pain and uncertainty, a unit of Golani reconnaissance reservists arrived and put the wounded on stretchers, ready to take them back across the border into Israel, on foot. "They ran for five-and-a-half kilometers, under fire," Zamir said Monday, as he stood near the chairs and podium that had been host to a commemoration ceremony on Mount Herzl for the fallen soldiers of the Second Lebanon War. "And the whole time, as they were running, they were singing 'Hatikva'." Zamir was one of hundreds of people, mostly family members of fallen soldiers who had come on the second Hebrew anniversary of the war to honor those who had paid the ultimate price in service to their country. Along with members of Knesset, the army and police, Zamir, still walking with a limp from the wounds he sustained on the battlefield, laid a wreath during the ceremony for his fellow soldiers killed in action. "I lost nine of my friends there," Zamir said. "They were like family to me." The ceremony lasted less than an hour, as the bereaved read Kaddish and the army cantor recited a prayer for the deceased. Speaking to the audience, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told friends and family members of the fallen that the government owed them an explanation. "Many difficult lessons were learned from our failures," he said. "And we must face them and learn from them." Barak said protecting the home front during wartime - one of the army's core principles - was overlooked. "We will reach conclusions as to why soldiers went to battle while the Israeli home front was left exposed and endangered," he said. "We have not finished our own examination regarding the 44 civilians who were killed in the war." Many in the diverse crowd, which was made up of religious, secular, Ethiopians, Russians and Druse, wore T-shirts featuring pictures of their loved ones. The entire family of Moti Butbul, who was killed when a Katyusha rocket landed near a group of reservists at Kfar Giladi, was there. "We came to give him honor," said Butbul's mother, who wore a shirt with a picture of her son on the front. "We came to honor his memory." Guy Sharabi, whose brother Yonatan was killed in the Lebanese village of al-Taybe, spoke of his brother as a young man who was always happy. "He was 20 years old," he said, choking back tears. "But he loved life so much. He was happy with everything that came to him." As the ceremony ended, Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni shook hands with family members, while officers spoke with the families of soldiers from their units who had fallen in the line of duty. Among the crowd, a platoon of enlisted soldiers came to pay respects to their fallen comrades. One of them, Roy, said his company had replaced soldiers at their posts in the North during the war, allowing them to advance into Lebanon. "I was still in basic training when the war started," he said. "We didn't go into Lebanon ourselves. But to come here, to Jerusalem, and to think of all the history here, all the people that came before you and gave their lives so that this would be possible, you realize that this is just another chapter in that long history - the history of the Jewish people."