Not to be confused with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which we commemorated in January, Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day is observed as a national holiday today in Israel. (In fact, it began at sundown yesterday.) Known in Hebrew as Yom HaShoah, the solemn day memorializes the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Many businesses are closed and memorials are held throughout the land, including a national event at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.
Already this morning, sirens wailed for 2 minutes and all of Israel literally came to a standstill as everyone observed the remembrance of those lost in the Holocaust. During the ceremony at Yad Vashem, 6 torches (representing the 6 million lives lost) were lit, wreaths were laid at each, and both President Rueven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made public remarks to those attending the Yad Vashem event. It is a reverent event and one held in high esteem by Israelis.
For more information on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day), I recommend Yad Vashem’s Remembrance Day page.
In the US, today is the National Day of Prayer. Though I certainly hope you are praying for our nation and its leaders, let’s also pray for Holocaust survivors’ families (almost all Israelis had at least one close relative who died in the Holocaust), for the nation of Israel to be safe, for Israel’s enemies to be subdued, and for God’s protection to be evident to all.