Israel, marking annual Memorial Day, comes to a standstill

Israel is marking its annual Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

Sirens rang out across the country at 8 p.m., prompting Israelis to stop in their tracks and stand silently with heads bowed for a minute to remember the dead.

It is one of the most somber dates on Israel’s calendar. Bereaved families visit cemeteries and attend remembrance ceremonies. Places of entertainment shut down and TV and radio stations air war stories and melancholic music.

The official ceremony to honor the dead is being held at Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Tuesday evening.

The memorial day continues into Wednesday, ending at sundown with a sharp break into jubilant festivities marking 70 years since Israel’s establishment.

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