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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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The IDF Honors 22,993 Fallen Soldiers

Soldiers stand at attention in front of the graves of the fallen at Mt. Herzl, Israel's national military cemetery.

Soldiers stand at attention in front of the graves of the fallen at Mt. Herzl, Israel's national military cemetery.
Photo Credit: IDF

The IDF honors, on Israel’s official Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism, the memory of 22,993 fallen soldiers who have given their lives since 1860.

Over the past year 126 soldiers were added to the count.

The number of bereaved Israeli families in 2012 is 10,524 including 2,396 orphans and 4,992 widows.

Israeli Memorial Day events began Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. with honorary ceremonies held across the country.

In a letter to IDF soldiers and commanders, the Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gantz wrote, “Another year passed, another year of standing guard, of relentless, exuberant, hard work ensuring the security of Israeli citizens. A year passed and again we stand at Memorial Day ceremonies, by graves of fallen brothers, facing monuments with a endless and unfathomable rows of names of the fallen.”

“A year passed, and Memorial Day once again lays its heavy silence on the entire Israeli nation. This year as well, the IDF is missing soldiers among its ranks, grieving but powerful, remembering thousands of fallen commanders and soldiers who fell throughout the years,” wrote Lt. Gen. Gantz.

The Chief of Staff added that “on this special day, we must look at ourselves, our units, and the IDF at large and ask: Are we fulfilling the mission of our generation? Are we bringing Israel to safe shores?”

“We see the IDF as a strong, determined, intimidating, technologically advanced, sophisticated military that can overcome any challenge at this monumental hour – when the Middle East is in turmoil, and terror organizations are relentlessly working to harm our civilians.”

Lt. Gen. Gantz concluded his letter, saying “We have another sacred duty – standing alongside the families of our fallen brothers and supporting all bereaved families. Parents, siblings, spouses and children who lost the dearest of all in a single day, and paid the heaviest price for the life and independence of Israel. Today, like every day, we embrace them as one powerful family – the family that is Israel Defense Forces, grieving over its fallen and embracing them forever.”

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2 Responses to “The IDF Honors 22,993 Fallen Soldiers”

  1. Joe Green says:

    On memorial day in Israel, a nationwide siren sounds to call the Jewish state to stop and honor the almost 23,000 fallen soldiers from wars during Israel's short history. Every family in Israel has been affected by these wars and memorial day is a constant reminder of how bad the past was and how bad the future may be as well. The neighborhood of the Middle East is a potential war zone almost on a daily basis and all the world recognizes what could happen, however it is not what could happen, but what will happen according to the ancient Jewish prophets.

    Daniel wrote 2500 years ago that Syria, Egypt, and Libya would be the first three nations to move against the Jewish state, Daniel 11:40-43. Ezekiel mentioned additional Muslim nations that would also attack Israel including Turkey and Iran, Ezekiel 38. The Psalmist added Saudi Arabia and Lebanon into the alignment of nations to attack Israel in the last days, Psalm 83. In fact, the prophet Joel said that the largest military might in history will be formed to destroy Israel, Joel 2:3.

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