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Mount Herzl, in Hebrew Har Hertzel, is a high hilltop in Jerusalem, Israel named for Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism. Herzl's tomb lies at the top of the hill. Mt Herzl Har Herzl, the Mount Herzl, overlooks the Jerusalem forests. As you head out of the center of town, up the hill on Herzl Street you'll reach the memorial park and cemetery dedicated to the founder of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl , whose tomb is at the summit of the mountain.
Along with Herzl, many of Israel's other leaders, such as former Prime Ministers Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol, are buried in the cemetery.
Mount Herzl Cemetery
This evening (April 27) at 8 p.m., sirens will wail throughout Israel, ushering in the Jewish State's national observance of Memorial Day.
The memory of more than 22,000 Israelis who fell in battles, wars, and terrorist attacks as far back as 1860 is marked in a series of ceremonies and tributes at scores of cemeteries.
Practically all of Israel's television and cable channels go dark, except for those few airing 24 hours' worth of profiles and documentaries of fallen soldiers and the stories of their final moments.
In these images, shot by Mordechai I. Twersky earlier today, we see the graves of Israel's fallen soldiers at Mt.Herzl, the national cemetery in Jerusalem.
One need not understand Hebrew in order to sense the moment; the ages written on the stones, the chirping of the birds in the background, speak volumes.
At the conclusion of Memorial Day, Israel will begin its 61st annual Independence Day celebration on Mt. Herzl, with a torch-lighting ceremony at the base of the tomb of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism.
Since his tragic murder in 1995, Yitzhak Rabin's grave has also become a magnet for tourists. Israel's principal military cemetery - its Arlington - is also located here. If you've never been to a Jewish cemetery, you'll notice flowers are not placed at the graves; instead, it is traditional for visitors to place small stones on the tombstones.
Mt. Herzl is the venue for many commemorative events and national celebrations.
In 1903, Theodor Herzl wrote in his will: "I wish to be buried in a metal coffin next to my father, and to remain there until the Jewish people will transfer my remains to Eretz Israel. The coffins of my father, my sister Pauline, and of my close relatives who will have died until then will also be transferred there."
When Herzl died a year later, he was interred in Vienna. It was only in 1949, 45 years later, that Herzl's remains were brought to Israel and reinterred in Jerusalem. The location of the burial site was selected by a special state commission. Since 1951, Mt. Herzl has served as Israel's national cemetery.
Despite Herzl's explicit wishes, his children were not buried beside him. For various reasons, the remains of his son and daughter were only brought to Israel in 2006. A third daughter was murdered in the Holocaust and her place of burial remains unknown.
Mount Herzl Herzl Tomb
Binyamin Ze'ev (Theodor) Herzl was born in 1860. In the year 1886 he published his book The Jewish State in which he presented his vision for the establishment of an independent state for the Jewish people. A year later, in 1897, he convened the First Zionist Congress, at which the World Zionist Organization was founded and the Basel Program - the political platform for the revival of the Jewish people in a state of their own in the Land of Israel - was adopted.
Herzl died in 1904 at the age of 44 and was buried in Vienna. In his will he requested to be interred, along with the members of his family, in the Land of Israel following the establishment of a Jewish state. On August 17, 1949, his last wishes were honored as his coffin was laid to rest ceremoniously on Mount Herzl. Each year since then, an official state ceremony in his memory is held on the anniversary of his death, the 20th of Tamuz.
On the hill is Israel's national cemetery where many dignitaries are buried as well as a military cemetery and a museum honoring Theodore Herzl. Yitzhak Rabin, former Prime Minister of Israel, is also buried here.
Yitzhak Rabin Grave at Mount Herzl Jerusalem
Herzl tomb, Mount Herzl, Jerusalem