Memorial Day opening ceremony at Western Wall

Israel's Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) honoring fallen soldiers begins with ceremony at Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Israel Memorial Day, Western Wall
Israel Memorial Day, Western Wall
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day to honor fallen soldiers and victims of hostilities opens with a ceremony at the Western Wall.

At 8 p.m., a one-minute siren will be heard in Israel, and the state ceremony at the Western Wall marking the opening of Memorial Day for the victims of Israeli wars and hostilities will thus commence.

The ceremony will be held by President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Nahal Brigade Commander Col. Yisrael Shomer, IDF fighters, and bereaved families.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and Health Ministry guidelines, the ceremony is being held this year without a live audience. The memorial torch will be lit by IDF Widows and Orphans' Organization Chairwoman Tami Shelah, widow of Major-General Ehud Shelah who fell during the Yom Kippur War.

The number of Israelis killed in battle or as a result of terrorist attacks since 1860 stands at 23,816. Since last year's Memorial Day, an additional 42 individuals have been added to that list, and another 33 disabled persons who died as a result of their disabilities were recognized as fallen IDF soldiers.

According to data provided by the National Insurance Institute, 3,153 civilians have been killed in hostilities since the State's founding, and 4,166 people have been killed since 1860. This number also includes 120 foreign civilians killed in attacks on Israeli soil, as well as 100 Israelis who have perished abroad.

This year ceremonies were limited due to the coronavirus crisis, and national flags were placed with a black ribbon and bouquets, and memorial candles were lit on all the graves of IDF's fallen soldiers in all cemeteries throughout the State.