today was Memorial day where the fallen people of Israel are remembered. there was a nation-wide siren last night at 8pm but I was still at work so missed it. today was a public holiday, as is tomorrow for Independence Day - the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel. at 11am this morning there was another siren. I left the apartment with about 1 minute to spare. the guy from upstairs ran down the stairwell just in front of me. he made it out the gate then the siren started. I was still in the front yard and I didn't want to move once it had started but I took a video from behind the green gate. the man from the laundromat was standing near his motorbike. another man stood by the car he was unpacking. a man stood on his balcony across the street - head bowed. another man put his grocery bags down and stood by them on the footpath across the road. the cars stopped. it was silent except for the ringing of the siren which could be heard across the city. this is the first siren I've heard throughout the city. afterwards, the siren wound down and stopped then daily life continued on.
Israel National News Memorial Day 5768 (2008) Honors Israel's Fallen
"The Defense Ministry reports the number of fallen in the Jews' war for the Land of Israel since 1860 as 22,437. This number includes soldiers - not civilians - who fell since 1948, as well as all Jews killed between 1860 and 1948 in the struggle for the Land. The total number is 132 higher than last year, including 31 who were murdered or fell in battle since last year's Memorial Day, as well as others who died of their wounds or were recognized as IDF war casualties this year."
"The year 1860 was chosen because it was then that Jews began to move outside Jerusalem's Old City walls and build new neighborhoods there."
History of Israel's Fallen
"The 1948-49 War of Independence was Israel's costliest war, with more than 6,000 dead - one percent of the Jewish population at the time - and 15,000 wounded."
"During the ensuing seven years of relative quiet, 101 Israelis were killed in "1,339 cases of armed clashes with Egyptian armed forces, 435 cases of incursion from Egyptian-controlled territory, and 172 cases of sabotage perpetrated by Egyptian military units and fedayeen [terrorists] in Israel. So said Israel's Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban to the UN Security Council on October 30, 1956 - the day after Israel began the Sinai Campaign in response to Egypt's violation of international agreements by blockading the Israeli port of Eilat. A total of 231 Israeli soldiers died in the eight days of fighting."
"The Six-Day War broke out on June 5, 1967. Along with the stunning victories, over 770 Israelis were killed."