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Sunday, April 22, 2012
MOD: Remembrance Day 2012; Israels Official Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism

Remembrance Day 2012; Israel's Official Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers
and Victims of Terrorism

(Communicated by Josh Hantman, International Media Advisor,
MOD)

The total number of fallen security personnel from 1860 to 2012 stands at
22,993

In the past year (since Remembrance Day 2011), 126 soldiers and security
personnel fell while serving the state

Today in Israel there are 10,524 bereaved families of security personnel,
2,396 orphans, and 4,992 widows of the IDF and the defense establishment

On Tuesday, 24.4.12, at 20:00, a one minute siren will be heard across the
country, marking the beginning of Israel's Remembrance Day for Fallen
Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism.

Immediately after the siren, the memorial services will begin.

On Wednesday, 25.4.12, at 11:00, a two minute siren will be heard.
Immediately after the siren, the day's official memorial ceremonies will
commence across the country.

Three different symbols are prominent on this day:

1. The lighting of memorial candles represents eternal remembrance. It
is a very strong Jewish motif. Whilst there are many interpretations, in
traditional Judaism, mourning candles are seen as representing the eternal
souls of those who have fallen.

2. The flowers are an expression of a communal sentiment and heartfelt
solidarity. A message of comfort from the people of Israel to the families.

3. The placement of a flag with a black 'Yizkor' (remembrance) ribbon on
the grave of each and every fallen soldier, service personnel or terror
victim, is an expression of stately honor; a deeply held respect for the
fallen. It embodies the participation of the whole country in the shared
grief of all the bereaved families, orphans and widows.

The Bereaved Families and Commemoration Department of the Ministry of
Defense estimates that over one million Israelis will be paying their
respects at the military ceremonies across the countries.

The department's responsibilities and operations are spread across 44
military cemeteries and burial plots, from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat.
Day-to-day operations include refurbishment, maintenance, cleaning,
gardening, polishing and replacing gravestones where necessary. We are
continuously improving the accessibility to the cemeteries for the disabled
and elderly. While general upkeep is imperative, The Bereaved Families and
Commemoration Department at the Ministry of Defense is careful to pay
attention to each and every one of our 22,993 fallen.

Ceremonies and events for Remembrance Day:

Tuesday, 24.4.12

16:30 Opening Ceremony, attended by the Prime Minister, Speaker of the
Knesset, and Israel's chief rabbis at Yad Labanim in Jerusalem

20:00 Candle-lighting ceremony at the Western Wall, attended by the
President and the IDF Chief of Staff

20:30 'Singing in Remembrance' event at the Knesset, attended by the
Minister of Defense, Speaker of the Knesset, the Welfare and Social Services
Minister, and the IDF Deputy Chief of Staff

Wednesday, 25.4.12

11:00 Official memorial ceremony on Mt. Herzl for Israel's fallen,
attended by the President, the Prime Minister, and the IDF Chief of Staff

11:00 Memorial ceremony for Israel's fallen at the military cemetery
in Kiryat Shaul, attended by the Minister of Defense

13:00 Official memorial ceremony for victims of terror, attended by
the President, the Prime Minister, and Welfare and Social Services Minister,
and the IDF Chief of Staff

20:00 Torch lighting ceremony and transfer of the main flags at Mt.
Herzl, attended by the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the
Knesset

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