By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
JERUSALEM – Israel will mark Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism, on this coming Monday, a day prior to Israel’s Independence Day celebrations.
The IDF has already commenced with its Yom Hazikaron ceremonies, holding yesterday (Apr. 30) the “Flag for the Fallen” ceremony in which a small Israeli flag with a black ribbon is placed on the grave of every fallen member of the security forces. The ceremony was attended by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and leading members of the security forces.
During the ceremony at the Har Hertzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem small flags were placed on the graves and Lieutenant General Benny Gantz saluted the fallen. He later on stated: “Each of the tombstones here are identical, and the ground covering them is the same earth – the earth of the Land of Israel which they loved, but each soldier buried here is a unique hue in Israel’s society. The spectrum of these colors is the image of the Israel Defense Forces – the nation’s army, the army in which those who serve in it come together from all segments of society for one mutual objective – securing the safety of the State of Israel.”
Chief of Police Yochana Danino stated: “We come to this sacred plot once a year to embrace our loved ones who are no longer with us. There are 1,417 policemen buried here who died, leaving behind them grief stricken families, children who never had a chance to know them. Their faces and names represent all segments of Israeli society. As the Chief of Police I view it a great honor to place a flag on the tomb of the last fallen policeman buried here. I hope and pray that the list does not become longer.” Police Commissioner Danino placed a flag on the tomb of Commander Baruch Mizrahi who was murdered by Arab terrorists on Passover eve this year.
Deputy Director-General and Head of the Commemoration Department in the Ministry of Defense Aryeh Mualem said: “With tearing eyes, with an aching heart and with a sense of sanctity we stand here on this holy mount, Har Hertzl, to fulfill our obligation – to remember everyone. We stand before the gravestones of the silent to salute, to salute the fallen soldiers of the IDF for their giving of their lives so that we can have a country.”