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Memorial Day: Israel's 22,867 Fallen

A total of 22,867 soldiers have fallen in battle or died during service over the course of Israel's history; 18,361 currently bereaved.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/6/2011, 11:05 AM / Last Update: 5/6/2011, 12:30 PM

Flash 90

A total of 22,867 IDF soldiers have fallen in battle or died during service over the course of Israel's history. Over the past year 183 soldiers joined that list; most of the recent casualties died during their mandatory service, but not of causes specifically related to their military duties.

There are currently 4,999 women living in Israel who lost a husband to war, according to the Defense Minister. There are 2,543 Israeli children who lost a parent in service, and 3,252 couples and 4,315 individual parents who lost a child.

In total, 18,361 people are currently defined as bereaved relatives of the first degree, a number which does not include the siblings of fallen soldiers.

On Sunday evening, a siren will sound at 8 pm to commemorate the fallen. Israelis across the country will stand in silence. After the siren, official memorial ceremonies will begin, including the central ceremony, to be held at the Western Wall (Kotel). President Shimon Peres and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz will attend.

A second siren blast will sound the next morning. The main daytime event will be held at the Har Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, and will be attended by Peres and by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Memorial Day also commemorates civilians murdered by terrorists. A total of 2,443 Israeli civilians have been murdered by terrorists since 1950; 13 were killed over the course of the past year.