Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day Begins
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day will be officially inaugurated at 8 PM Sunday night, in a ceremony at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.
In the official ceremony at Yad Vashem, six torches will be lit by six Holocaust survivors, followed by the reciting of the “Kel Maleh Rachamim” prayer, which is recited for the deceased, and the recitation of the Kaddish for the six million. Ceremonies will also be held in cities throughout the country, with torch lightings, prayers, and commemorative assemblies. Israeli television and radio stations broadcast programs relating to the Holocaust, toning down their usual exuberant (or in the case of political discussions, strident) broadcasts, reflecting the somber mood of the day.
At 10 AM Monday, a siren will sound, and two minutes later a ceremony will be held in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and other top government, IDF, and judicial officials will place wreaths at the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial in Jerusalem.
At the sounding of the siren, all Israelis are expected to stand and reflect on the meaning of the Holocaust and the loss of six million Jews, and the destruction of the long-lived Jewish communities of Europe. Traffic comes to a halt, as Israelis step out of their vehicles and stand besides them as the siren is sounded.