State of Israel commemorates its 23,544 fallen soldiers and victims of terror

Ahead of Independence Day celebrations to begin this evening, State of Israel remembers the 23,544 fallen soldiers and 3,117 victims of terror; Netanyahu: The State of Israel is a historic wonder.”

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Israel commemorated its 23,544 fallen soldiers on Monday, the nation standing in silence for two minutes marked by a siren.

Military ceremonies were held across the country from Sunday evening and will continue all day Monday.

A national ceremony was held at Mt. Herzl attended by Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Reuvel Rivlin. Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Netanyahu referred to Israel as a “historic wonder” stating “We note the mutual responsibility and destiny that binds all parts of the nation with the family of the bereaved. We are one people, and it is clear that if it weren’t for the sacrifices of our sons and daughters, we would not be a free people in our own land. The State of Israel is a historic wonder.”

He went on to speak of Israel’s strength amongst ongoing threats to her existence stating, “We do not show weakness, we do not let the weapons fall from our hands, because we know that this is the only way to repel those evil people who refuse to accept our existence, and only then will we achieve peace with those who want peace.”

A ceremony will later be held on Monday afternoon remembering the 3,117 victims of terror to also be held at Mt. Herzl.

Ahead of Yom Hazikaron, Netanyahu spoke at a ceremony where a new national memorial was dedicated at Israel’s military cemetery Mt. Herzl, the memorial featuring the name of all 23,544 fallen soldiers. He spoke of the memorial’s assurance that Israel remembers all its fallen, stating “While we remember the fallen soldiers of Israel’s wars, it is they who remind us who we are and what our purpose is. Love for the homeland, heroism and devotion, a shared fate, a flame that will never be extinguished. Even when there will be no families, when there will be no single person who remembers the fallen men and women, a candle will be lit here on the anniversary of their death. This initiative wonderfully combines personal and national memories, and ensures that the memory of the fallen will be forever engraved upon our hearts.”