Rivlin at the Kotel
Rivlin at the Kotel Photo by Mark Neyman/GPO

Israelis across the country stopped and bowed their heads in remembrance of the 23,646 members of the security forces who fell in the line of duty and the 3,134 Israelis who were murdered in terror attacks.

The country came to a stop as the memorial siren sounded at 8 PM Tuesday night, marking the beginning of Israel's Memorial Day.

Ceremonies commemorating the fallen were held around the country, including the main memorial ceremony at the Western Wall, which was attended by President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and the families of fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

71 names were added to the list of those who fell defending Israel over the last year, and 12 names were added to the list of victims of terrorist attacks against Israelis.

The first ceremony was held at the Yad Lebanim memorial for fallen soldiers in Jerusalem Tuesday afternoon. The event was attended by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, who lost his brother Yoni in the successful Entebbe rescue operation in 1976, said: “We bow our heads in memory of our loved ones whose blood has been spilled in our homeland. There is never a true remedy to that — to every family its own grief and its own courage."

“We don’t forget our wounded even for a moment and lovingly send them wishes for recovery,” Netanyahu added. "The message left by the fallen is sharp and clear: Our lives may be too short, but we have guaranteed the life of the nation forever, And they have indeed given us the ability to live. It is thanks to them and their successors that we are here.”

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