On the eve of Israel's 57th Memorial Day, the Defense Ministry published the official figures of the number of fallen soldiers in Israel.
Twenty-three thousand, five hundred and forty four Jewish and Israeli soldiers, policemen, and guards have fallen in defense of the State of Israel and the pre-state Jewish community from 1860, when the Jewish community of Jerusalem expanded beyond the walls of the Old City and began to provide its own security, until today.
Sixty casualties have been added to the number of fallen soldiers since last Memorial Day (May 6, 2016), Additionally, 37 IDF veterans died over the past year as a result of injuries they received in combat.
The number of bereaved families in Israel in 2017 includes 9,157 bereaved parents, 4,881 widows of IDF soldiers and security forces, 1,843 orphans under to the age of 30, and thousands of bereaved and orphaned children over the age of 30.
A one-minute siren will be heard all over the country on Sunday, 4 Iyar, April 30th, at 8:00 p.m., marking the opening of Israel's Memorial Day for fallen soldiers. Immediately after the siren, the memorial rallies will begin. On Monday, a two-minute siren will be sounded, followed by state memorial ceremonies and memorial ceremonies throughout the country.
The Family, Commemoration and Heritage Division of the Defense Ministry, which is responsible for the Memorial Day events, was held this year for the arrival of more than a million and a half people to the military cemeteries throughout the country. The division's activities span 52 military cemeteries and hundreds of military burial plots, from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat, and thousands of graves in the various communities.
The scope of activities includes renovation, maintenance, cleaning and gardening of cemeteries, polishing and replacing damaged or old tombstones, expanding access to cemeteries and handicap for the handicapped and elderly population, while paying attention to each family member.