About Memorial Day
When is Memorial Day in Israel?
Yom Hazikaron - Memorial Day - or Israel Fallen Soldiers Remembrance Day is observed on the 4th of the month of Iyar on the Hebrew calendar. This means it is observed on the day before Independence Day. If Independence Day falls on Friday or Saturday, Memorial Day will move to the Wednesday before.
It is not a public holiday but has been Israel's official remembrance day since it was enacted into law in 1963.
History of Memorial Day in Israel
It always precedes the next day's subsequent celebrations of Israel Independence Day, the Yom Haatzmaut of the 5th of Iyar for the annual holiday of the Public Proclamation of the State of Israel of 1948.
Memorial Day honours veterans and fallen soldiers of the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Force who died in the modern Arab Israeli conflict.
Nowadays, Memorial Day also commemorates fallen civilians, slain by acts of hostile terrorism.
Memorial Day is a statutory holiday; by law, all places of entertainment are closed on the eve of Yom Hazikaron. Broadcasting and educational bodies will mark the sombre of the day.
A minute of silence will be observed around the country as sirens sound at 8 pm in the evening when the day begins. A second, two-minute, siren will go off at 11 am
Restaurants reopen in the evening - partly because the Independence Day festivities begin at sunset, but also because some people may have travelled far to visit the grave of a fallen soldier friend or family member and may require refreshments.
Commemoration ceremonies are held across the country and TV and radio are devoted to the commemoration of those who have fallen. Flags throughout the country are lowered to half-mast. Public transport for those going to military cemeteries is free of charge.
The commemoration day, established in 1951 by then-prime minister and defense minister David Ben-Gurion, was set for the 4th of Iyar on the Jewish calendar, the day before Independence Day, which begins immediately after Memorial Day.