The 4th of May, Yom Hazikaron is the national Remembrance Day observed in Israel in memory of the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism since 1860. National memorial services are held in the presence of Israel’s top leadership and military personnel. The day opens with a siren the preceding evening, May 4th at 20:00 pm. The siren is heard all over the country and lasts for one minute, during which Israelis stop everything (including driving) and stand in silence, commemorating the fallen and showing respect.All entertainment places, shops, restaurants, movie theaters and coffee shops will be closed starting at 19:00 pm.
On the day of May 5th, a two-minute siren will be sounded at 11:00 am which marks the opening of the official memorial ceremonies and private remembrance.
Scheduling Yom Hazikaron right before Yom Ha-Atzma’ut (Independence Day) is intended to remind people of the price paid for independence and of what was achieved with the soldiers’ sacrifice. This transition shows the importance of this day among Israelis, most of whom have served in the armed forces or have a connection with people who were killed during their military service.