Yom HaZikaron: Remembering in Jerusalem

Yom HaZikaron: Remembering in Jerusalem

On Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day, Israel remembers 23,646 fallen soldiers and 3,134 victims of terror.

Kosel remembrance flame, Wailing wall photo

The official opening memorial is held at the Western Wall, the Kotel, each year, with the Israeli President as the main speaker, and the lighting of the memorial flame.

There are numerous community memorials, some led by Scouts and other youth groups.

Givat Tachmoshet memorial for fallen soldiers on Ammunition Hill Jerusalem Israel

In 1967, Givat Hatachmoshet, Ammunition Hill, was site of an important battle. Today there is a memorial for Jewish soldiers on the memorial site.

Names of fallen soldiers on wall of honor in Jerusalem Israel Ammunition Hill

A wall with plaques for fallen Jewish soldiers, from all countries, not only Israel, goes back to 1948, identifying the soldiers by the armies to which they belonged. Since before the establishment of the State of Israel, volunteers have come to defend and fight for a Jewish state. Too many have fallen.

“The Sons We Lost”  was the theme of the memorial ceremony held by the Lone Solider Center in memory of Michael Levin at Givat Hatachmoshet.

Tuvia Book, Evie Steinberg and Harriet Levin at ceremony remembering fallen in Israel

Harriet Levin, mother of Michael z”l (right), Evie Steinberg, mother of Max z”l, and Tuvia Book who spoke for the family of Alex Singer z”l, were the main speakers. Such wonderful young men were lost. But each of their families have dedicated themselves to continuing the dedication of their fallen heroes, each in their own way.

Yom HaZikaron starts at night with the wail of a siren.

Memorial for fallen in Jerusalem Ammunition Hill

Memorial torches are lit throughout Israel.

Memorial prayers are recited.

Michael Levin remembered by his mother Harriet at ceremony at Givat Tachmoshet Ammunition Hill

The fallen are remembered in words

and with the solemn sounds of soulful music.

Woman sitting near graves of Har Herzl military cemetery Yom Hazikron

But after a day of memorial services, visits to cemeteries with graves of the fallen soldiers and victims of terror,

Israel 70 over building in Jerusalem

as night falls, Israel begins to celebrate 70 years.

From the tears of Har Herzl Military Cemetery to the cheers of Har Herzl Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day fireworks.

#Israel70  a modern day miracle, dreamed of for centuries from afar.

Jerusalem Colored Blue & White and Red for Israel 70

Jerusalem Colored Blue & White and Red for Israel 70

Every year as soon as Passover ends, the Yoms begin, Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, Yom Ha’tzmaut, and Yom Yerushalyim. After remembering the victims of Holocaust, fallen IDF and terror, then celebrating Israel Independence and the unification of Jerusalem begin.

Flags come out. Jerusalem goes blue and white.

#Israel70 new flags for Beit Hanasi, President's House Jerusalem, Israel

Official flags of Israel, Jerusalem and Beit Hanasi, the President’s House are displayed.

Israel flags on apartment building for Israel 70

But also some private residences get into the holiday spirit. Cars, taxis, and motorcycles can be seen flying small flags.

Jerusalem sign for Independence Day Israel 70

There are new signs in Jerusalem for celebrating Israel’s 70th lining some streets.

Plane for Yom Haatzmaut

The practices for Yom Ha’atzmaut air show have taken place over several days.

Planes flyover Jerusalem, Israel practice for Yom Haatzmaut.

It is one of my favorite times of year. This year I got some of it on video to share with you.

The show seems bigger this year. Everything seems bigger this year for Israel 70.

Gala dinner of UIA at binyunei Hauma

The annual World Conference of Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal had over 1000 people at its opening gala dinner in the Jerusalem International Conference Center. From all over the world they came, so many from South America, I thought the event should have been done in Spanish, instead of English.

But all is not just blue and white, yellow roses are in full bloom, as are purple flowers and more. Perhaps a whole blog again of Jerusalem colors?

Light projection on Jewish Agency by JNF

These red flowers on the Jewish Agency Building are part of a light projection video by JNF in honor of Israel 70.

JNF light projection on Jewish Agency Building

Seats were set up in the plaza for public viewing. Jerusalem is too often under a magnifying glass, maybe we get more attention than is desired.

JNF on Jewish Agency Building for Israel 70

JNF supporters are found around the world, country flags highlighted in this photo from the video.

The projection is scheduled to be seen only nights this week, so I recorded part of the video to share with you.

State celebrations for Independence Day will begin on Wednesday night with a torch lighting ceremony at Har Herzl. I plan to attend and share highlights as usual.

Israeli flags and memorial light for Yom HaZikaron

But first along with the blue and white flags, memorial flames are found on many buildings. Before the celebrations begin, we remember the fallen defenders of Israel and victims of terror.

The state televised ceremony is held at the Kotel, Western Wall. Communities throughout Israel host their own.

Yom HaZikaron 5778

I am planning to be at a ceremony at Givat Tachmoshet, Ammunition Hill. Near the memorial for fallen lone soldiers, an event sponsored by lone soldiers. Young men and women who come from around the world to serve the Jewish people and State of Israel.

As the Prime Minister said in his remarks at the UIA gala dinner last night,

We live in momentous times. The founders of modern Zionism did not say that the attacks on the Jewish people would seize once we establish a Jewish state. They said that we could defend ourselves against those attacks. And that’s exactly what the State of Israel has done. It’s restored the capacity of the Jewish people to defend ourselves, by ourselves, against any threat. And we are as powerful as we’ve never been before.

We will mourn the fallen, then we will celebrate the living and life.

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem

This year Yom HaShoah,  Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, as it is officially called, was observed from Wednesday night to Thursday night.

The State Ceremony held at Yad Vashem was broadcast live on Israeli television.  As has become traditional, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau lit the large memorial torch.

Stage at Yad Vashem for Yom HaShoah with memorial flame lit

President Reuven Rivlin spoke to the crowd, which was so spread out in the plaza that most guests had to watch the large screens on each side of the stage in order to see the program.

Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at Yad Vashem on Yom Hashoah

After a musical interlude, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke.

Yad Vashem supporters from around the world come to attend the emotional ceremony.

Lighting memorial flame at Yad Vashem on Yom HaShoah

Six survivors, one by one, aided by a younger family member, lit the six memorial flames for six million murdered Jews.

Survivors and young relative lighting flame at Yad Vashem on Yom HaShoah

The life stories of the six survivors are presented in six short videos. One theme runs through these brief glimpses into the past: having arrived in Israel after undergoing difficulties that are beyond imagination, they are proud to have succeeded in raising new generations of proud and accomplished Jews.

The past cannot be redone. But,

IDF honor guard at Yad Vashem for Yom HaShoah

each year the IDF Honor Guard stands on the stage. The young soldiers are symbols of a bright future.

The traditional prayer for the dead is recited each year. I thought I could hear the words reverberating from the Judean Hills around us.

At 10:00 am, the next morning, a two-minute siren sounded. Jerusalem stopped to remember.

The day was marked by a long list of programs honoring survivors and remembering the victims.

Much more, but I decided to end with the Hatikvah which concluded the Yad Vashem ceremony.

Hope for the future.

Mourn and celebrate.

Live life.

Jerusalem has a very long list of public events free of charge for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 70th Independence Day, iwhich will be  celebrated next week.

Going to need some time to rest up first.

Shabbat Shalom