Herzog leads Israel in solemn Remembrance Day commemoration

The annual Remembrance Day, known in Hebrew as Yom Hazikaron, is one of the most significant days in Israel’s national calendar. This year, President Herzog marked the auspicious day with his speech and condolences.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog marked Remembrance Day for the country’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism with a solemn ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday, 13th May.

Herzog laid a memorial wreath at the ancient religious site to honour those who have sacrificed their lives in defence of Israel and attacks by Palestinian militant groups and others over decades of conflict and war-like situations.

“We owe an eternal debt to the heroes who fell so that we can live with freedom, independence, and security in our sovereign state,” Herzog said during the ceremony attended by bereaved families and top officials.

As is tradition, a siren sounded across Israel for one minute while the nation stood in silence paying respects to its 24,068 fallen soldiers and 3,193 civilian victims of militant attacks.

The annual Remembrance Day, known in Hebrew as Yom Hazikaron, is one of the most significant days in Israel’s national calendar. It is immediately followed by celebrations of Independence Day commemorating Israel’s founding in 1948.

“The pain is enormous and the bereavement unbearable,” Herzog said of those killed. “We will continue striving for peace while safeguarding our security.”

Remembrance Day saw hundreds of memorial ceremonies across Israel honouring those killed in the Arab-Israeli wars, the Palestinian uprisings, terrorist bombings, hostage crises and other violence tied to the long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The day of mourning precedes Independence Day celebrations set to begin Monday evening, marking Israel’s 75th year as a nation. The contrasting solemnity and jubilation reflect Israel’s pride but also the heavy human toll of its many conflicts.