This time of year is always busy,
starting with Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day,
until after Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day.
Six symbolic torches were lit at Yad Vashem on Yom Hashoah
for the six million Jews murdered in World War II.
Another symbol of mourning is
the large Israeli flag on top of the Knesset
flown at half-mast.
Small Israeli flags can be found on cars
and huge ones unfurled down buildings.
This week even the skies were blue and white,
from the road leading out of the Judean Hills,
and all the way up over the Kinerret.
There were hundreds of ceremonies
for Yom Hazikaron,
remembering the fallen soldiers and victims of terror,
all 23,447 who lost their lives.
One new and special program this year
was held at Givat HaTachmoshet,
As the sun set and the memorial siren sounded,
a capacity crowd was on hand
to remember lone soldiers who fell,
it was sponsored by
The Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin.
An honor guard watched as the Israeli flag was lowered
and a memorial flame was lit.
Young people supporting and giving comfort to each other,
wore these Yizkor strips on their hearts,
remembering those who lost their lives.
From nightfall and during the entire day,
thousands visited to the military cemeteries,
from Har Herzl and gravesides throughout Israel.
But as soon as Yom Hazikaron ends,
Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day begins,
Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,
is getting ready for a big day of celebrations.
The gardens in front and back
are ready for the invited guests.
The waiting room inside has had a makeover.
120 selected IDF soldiers will be honored
on Yom Haatzmaut.
Since some of their faces cannot be shown,
this photo from the back will have to suffice.
President Reuven Rivlin came out at the rehearsal
and seemed to really enjoy
the few moments he spoke with the honorees.
The pilots of special planes also rehearsed this week
for the traditional mid-day air show.
we turn to celebration
and preparing for
Israel at 68.