Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s annual Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers, takes place in the spring the day before the celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel’s Independence Day.

IDF Soldiers participating in the annual Yom Hazikaron ceremony

Each year on this day, at 11am a siren is heard across the country and for 2 minutes the entire country stops. People stop their cars and stand in the streets, meetings are paused, children stop playing, and businesses cease their daily operation while the entire country comes to a standstill in recognition of the lives lost in the service of its protection. It is an emotionally difficult day in which painful memories of fallen soldiers and terror victims come to the surface and often trigger trauma reactions in those who survived.

The painful reality of life in Israel is that everybody knows somebody who either fell in action, or was killed in a terror attack. Calls to NATAL’s Helpline always spike during the week of Yom Hazikaron, and particularly on the day of, as trained volunteers provide support to hundreds of civilians who struggle to cope. NATAL’s annual Yom Hazikaron campaign is a reminder that NATAL is here to help and that support is only a phone call away.