Today is Yom Hashoah. It's Holocaust Remembrance Day.
It's not a simple day and it's not an easy day - but it's an important day. It's the day we remember and honor the six million Jews that were murdered in the Holocaust.
There are a few national memorial days in Israel, and they serve to remind us who we are, where we come from and how crucial it is to take care of one another.
Some of the ways Israel honors this day:
Memorial Siren | A siren blasts at 10:00 am and lasts for 2 minutes. During the siren, everyone in the country stops what they are doing and stands in complete silence. Even the cars on the highway stop on the side and passengers get out of their car and join the moment of stillness and silence.
Ceremonies | Many ceremonies are held on this day, from small ceremonies in synagogues and schools to official ceremonies by the IDF and the State Assemblies (held at 20:00 pm and 10:00 am, right after the siren).
Mourning Practices | The flags of Israel across the country are lowered to half-mast, all places of entertainment close their doors on Yom HaShoah Eve, radio and TV stations only broadcast Holocaust-related content.
Zikaron BaSalon | This special organization creates thousands of alternative remembrance evenings on the eve of Yom HaShoah each year, where different private homes host Holocaust survivors that come to share their stories.
In Israel, Yom Hashoah is observed on the 27th of the Hebrew date Nisan. The Jewish calendar is lunar-based so it varies year to year when it falls out in correlation to the Gregorian calendar.
It became an official memorial day in 1951 and was established by law in the Knesset in 1951.
Many other countries have instituted their own Holocaust Commemoration Day, including Italy, France, Canada, Romania, and many more.