Israel's annual Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers and terror victims fell today on Monday April 9th. Israelis across the country, stood in commemoration as sirens roared throughout the country this afternoon signaling two minutes of silence in respect for soldiers and terror victims. Commemoration ceremonies began last night and continued today, as families and loved ones payed their respect to the fallen.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today at Har Herzl, Jerusalem's military cemetery, at the official Remembrance Day ceremony. Standing in front of hundreds of Israelis, many who have lost a loved one to Israel's multiple wars and terrorist attacks, shared his hope for a peaceful future and that there will be a time where "nation shall not take up sword against nation.' He commiserated with the Israeli public, sharing his own personal pain, referencing the death of his brother, Yonatan Netanyahu
, who was killed in Operation Entebbe in Uganda.
He reminded the public, "Israel's fallen live on in our hearts."
In a ceremony later in the day, specifically commemorating terror victims, Netanyahu said that Israel will not surrender to fear, and will respond to it's enemies. In a response to the recent Hamas-Fatah reconciliation
Netanyahu said, "We will not be tempted to believe that the leopard has changed its spots."
Leading up to the ceremony families of soldiers visited Har Herzl and the other 44 military cemeteries across the country laid wreaths and flowers in their memory.
Remembrance Day ends tonight at 20:00. Following the end of Remembrance Day is Israeli Independence Day. Israel celebrates its 63rd year tonight, as concerts, festivities and parties will take place throughout the country. As every year, Israelis will go from a day of sadness and reflection to a day of celebration and happiness.