For the 12th year in a row the IDF (Zahal) has commemorated its fallen soldiers with a flag placing ceremony at the military cemetery in Mount Herzl, Jerusalem that will continue until Israel’s Day of Remembrance on May 4.
Israeli flags decorated with black ribbon were placed on the graves of each fallen soldier in cemeteries across the country. The ceremony at Mount Herzl, lead by IDF (Zahal) soldiers, was attended by Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin “Benny” Gantz and the head of the Human Resources Branch, Gen. Orna Barbivai.
During the ceremony, Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin “Benny” Gantz, saluted the fallen soldiers of the IDF (Zahal) before he explained, “These tombstones are similar in appearance, and the ground that covers them is the same land – the land of Israel that was loved, yet each and every one of the soldiers buried here are unique and represent a range of society.”
He continued by describing the diversity of the IDF (Zahal), which he referred to as “the people’s army.” Gantz later affirmed, “Those who serve come from all walks of life and come together for one common goal – to protect the State of Israel.”
The flags placed on the gravestones will remain there until May 4th during Israel’s Day of Remembrance in which the country remembers all those who have fallen during IDF (Zahal) service or during acts of terrorism and political violence.
Former Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi lays a flag down on the late Maj. Eliraz Peretz’s grave in 2010.
The ceremony was also attended by the chairman of Department of Bereaved Families, Aryeh Muallem. During the ceremony he stated, “With tearful eyes, a heavy heart and the sense of holiness that we stand here tonight in the heart of the sacred Mount Herzl, in order to fulfill this responsibility that we have taken upon ourselves – to remember them all.” He concluded, “We stand here in front of these silent monuments and salute, salute the fallen soldiers of Israel who have given their lives for this country.”