The people of Israel, young and old, make time for their beloved fallen on Memorial Day. A friend for some, a sibling or parent for others and a child for many bereaved parents are visited at the IDF military graveyard on Mount Herzl.
At Mount Herzl, the top brass of Israel's security establishment, together with elected officials, preside over the official state ceremony. Representatives of various IDF units, along with selected veterans, are invited to the ceremony.
IDF soldiers from the Kfir Battalion stand as honor guard during the state ceremony.
The Prime Minister, President and other officials deliver speeches and the Kadish and El Maleh Rachamim prayers are recited.
(L to R) Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and her husband Yechezkel, Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, two unknowns, Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen and Jewish Agency Chairman Ze'ev Bielski.
A memorial card on Staff Sgt. Michael Levin's grave, alongside a tower of flowers placed by friends and strangers who were inspired by his story.
The family of Erez Turjeman, who fell while serving near Ramallah, hands out cards with photos and the web site commemorating Erez (http://www.erezt.com).
A young woman recites Psalms at Yehuda Greenfeld's grave.
Friends of Achikam Amichai speak with his mother as she sits beside his grave.
A photo of David Rubin and Achikam lies on Amichai's grave.
Amichai, an aspiring geologist and expert on caves, has the most unusual rocks and gems placed on his grave by friends and colleagues.
A photo taken of David Rubin taken a very short while before the terrorist ambush.
The grave of David Papian notes the date of his Aliyah from Armenia in addition to the dates of his birth and death. He died on April 16 in a battle with Gaza terrorists while guarding the border.
A mother spends Memorial Day reciting Psalms and praying by the grave of her son.
The grave of Ro'i Klein, who died in a heroic act that saved his fellow soldiers in the Second Lebanon War.
A child's message on a rock placed on the Mossad agent's grave reads: "Dad, I would be very happy if you would be alive."
The grave of Shayetet 13 fighter Raanan Komemi, who died in a battle with a Hamas commander in Shechem that his parents and fellow soldiers blame on the Supreme Court's intervention preventing certain IDF tactics of preventing ambushes.
A guide speak to a March of the Living group that just arrived from Auschwitz about young men who have chosen to immigrate to Israel and join the IDF.
Fellow soldiers, friends and family gather around the grave of St.-Sgt. Eran Dan-Gur, who died fighting terrorists in Gaza's Jabalya region two months ago.
See sidebar or click here for complete photo series, including the grave of a recently fallen Mossad agent.
(Photos: Ezra HaLevi)