Some 1.5 million Israelis are expected to visit the military cemeteries across the country during Yom Hazikaron to pay their respects to the 23,645 members of the security forces who have died while serving the country.

Memorial Day in Israel

Memorial Day in Israel Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS

Remembrance Day ceremonies began last night (Tuesday) immediately after Israelis throughout the country stood for a minute of silence at 8:00 PM in memory of the 23,645 members of the security forces and 3,134 terror victims who have died since 1948.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Israel Police chief Roni Alsheikh attended the state ceremony for Israel’s national Memorial Day for members of the security forces and terror victims, which was held at the Western Wall on Tuesday evening.

“We will not for a moment stop working for the country your children fought for,” Rivlin told the bereaved families in the audience. “We will continue to fight with determination and steadfastness at any moment when war is approaching us. We will pursue and catch every enemy as we are armed with a marvelous security establishment and the most precious human and moral wealth. With these same strengths, we will continue to strive for quietness, peace and security with all our neighbors.”

Eisenkot also addressed the audience: “In the silence that exists between us now, we are commanded to unite with the memory of the fallen IDF soldiers, who lost their lives in the battles of our nation and acts of hostility. We pray for the recovery of the wounded IDF soldiers, who bear the scars of the struggle for our existence.”

The IDF chief of staff added that in his four decades of service, he has lost many friends. “Unfortunately, more than once I’ve had to part from people I held close, brothers in arms, and from many other exceptional young men and women.”

“Together with you, we are bearing in our hearts the glory of the heroism and the legacy of the fallen,” Eisenkot told the bereaved families. “In the abyss of pain without relief, we are committed to continue reaching out and embracing our brothers. To stand together as one family.”

Last night's Memorial Day ceremony at the Western Wall

Last night’s Memorial Day ceremony at the Western Wall Photo Credit: Mendy Hechtman/Flash 90

A second siren will be sounded Wednesday at 11:00 AM. At 11:02 AM, immediately following the two-minute siren, the state ceremony honoring the servicemen and women who fell during Israel’s history will be held at Mount Herzl. At 1:00 PM, the official ceremony honoring the terror victims will begin at Mount Herzl.

According to assessments, about 1.5 million people are expected to visit the various military cemeteries throughout the country during Yom Hazikaron.