A group of Israelis on a Lufthansa flight on Sunday stood for a moment of silence on the Jewish state’s Memorial Day to honor the men and women who died during active duty or were killed in terror attacks.
The group of Israelis on the flight — which was on its way from Marrakesh to Munich — stood in the aisle silently for one minute at 8:00 p.m. Israel time, when the traditional siren marking the start of Memorial Day is heard in Israel.
Petah Tikva resident David told the Hebrew-language Ynet news site that the rest of the passengers on the flight were initially confused over why such a large group of people stood up silently in unison.
“We explained to them the meaning of Memorial Day for us and that at exactly at this time in Israel millions of people are standing in honor of the fallen,” he said.
“It was very moving,” he added.
Another Israeli aboard the flight told Ynet that the rest of the passengers admired the Israelis’ solidarity with their fallen countrymen.
Last week, Israelis aboard an El Al flight from Tel Aviv to London also stood for a moment of silence just prior to takeoff at the time of the siren marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.
At 11 a.m. Monday, a second, two-minute-long siren will pierce the air, marking the start of the official Memorial Day ceremonies throughout the country, expected to be attended by 1.5 million Israelis. An official ceremony honoring those 3,117 who died in acts of terror will begin at 1 p.m.
Since 1860, when the first Jewish neighborhood was established outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls, 23,544 men and women have died while serving in the security services of Israel and the pre-state Jewish community, according to official figures.
The commemoration day, established in 1951 by then-prime minister and defense minister David Ben-Gurion, was set for the 4th of Iyar, the day before Independence Day, which begins immediately after Memorial Day on Monday night.