On a highway in Israel on April 16, traffic was moving as normal when a siren cut through the air. Traffic slowed to a halt, and the people exited their vehicles, standing silently as the sirens wailed. There was no emergency; instead, these sirens marked Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day when people of all faiths and nationalities remember those lost during the genocide of WWII.
The holiday is held on the 27th day of the month of Nisan, which this year translated to April 16 (although the dates vary on the Gregorian calendar). Prayers, candlelight services, and sirens like these are used to mark the day. The sirens blast at 10 a.m., and people stop whatever they”re doing (including driving) for a moment of reflection and respect.
The day is also marked by speeches delivered by Israel”s leaders, and ceremonies at Yad Vashem the country”s Holocaust museum, memorial site, and educational center.
Thousands of people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, partake in “The March of the Living” from Auschwitz to Birkenau in defiance of Holocaust death marches.
All around the world, Yom HaShoah is a day for people to remember the profound tragedy of the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of millions of people. It”s also used to remember the heroism that helped save lives during that dark time.