WATCH: With Silence And Song, Israelis Commemorate 23,447 Fallen

The Times of Israel reports: Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism formally began at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday as sirens wailed throughout the country, signalling a solemn minute of silence at the start of an annual remembrance marked with candle lightnings, memorial services and melancholy songs.

This year’s memorials commemorate 23,447 men and women who have died in uniform or as victims of terror attacks.

The past year saw 68 Israeli soldiers and police die in the line of duty, as well as 32 civilians killed in terror attacks.

Speaking at the central state ceremony held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, President Reuven Rivlin said that the wave of deadly terror attacks that hit the country this year is part of the same efforts to destroy Israel that soldiers fought against in the 1948 Independence War.

“For over sixty-eight years we have been fighting the same war, the war for our independence; an ongoing campaign that changes its face and form. It is a painful battle that all the time adds fresh scars to the body and spirit of this ancient and robust people,” Rivlin said.

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