Twenty five thousand, three hundred and ten

25,310 dead.

Yom Ha-Zikaron (Memorial Day) is just ending in Israel. It has been a day of intense emotion remembering those soldiers who have been killed over the years defending Israel and those civilians who have been killed in terrorist attacks against Israelis. All places of entertainment were closed last night, and broadcasters dressed in black hosted nonstop TV programs about fallen soldiers. Sirens sounded at the beginning of Yom Ha Zikaron last night and again this morning as everyone in the country stood at attention. There is virtually no family in Israel that does not grieve for someone who has died. In the last year alone, 183 have fallen.

25,310 dead.

In Israel’s main Yom Ha-Zikaron ceremony, Prime Minister Netanyahu somberly  remembered Israeli victims of the last few months: the Fogel family that was butchered in Itamar, Daniel Viflic who was on the school bus hit by the Hamas anti-tank missile, and Ben-Yosef Livnat who was shot to death trying to worship at Joseph’s Tomb. As Netanyahu pointed out: “All these people died for just one reason. Because they were Jews.”

25,310 dead.

The day before, Netanyahu went to Mt. Herzl to visit the grave of his brother Yonatan, who was killed in the operation to free the hostages in Entebbe, Uganda some 35 years ago. Netanyahu spoke for the nation when he said: “Every bereaved family remembers its loved ones that had fallen all year round. On Memorial Day we all unite in a moment of grief and gratitude to those who gave their lives so that the State of Israel could exist.”

Wherever you are when you read this, observe a minute of silence for those who have given their lives that the State of Israel can exist.

israelstreet fact of the day:

25,310. The number of Israeli soldiers who have died defending Israel and  Israeli civilians who have been killed in terrorist attacks.

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