Mount Herzl Cemetery
The national cemetery in Jerusalem is an important stop to make on your tour of contemporary Israel. Named for the father of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, the cemetery contains the gravesites of important political figures and fallen soldiers.
Stroll through the National Civil Cemetery to see the burial places of almost all of the country's presidents and prime ministers. Important leaders such as Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek and Jewish Legion founder Ze'ev Jabotinsky are buried here as well. Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion (the first premier of Israel) and Menachem Begin are conspicuously absent, as they requested to buried elsewhere.
When you walk among the graves of the National Military Ceremony, you will notice that the tombstones are all simple, and no distinction is made between the ranks or units of the soldiers. The graves are mostly grouped according to the dates that the soldiers fell, with most of the soldiers from a particular war or military operation buried together.
Don't miss the especially poignant Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial, where the names of every terror victim from 1851 until the present day are listed. The architecture of the memorial expresses the resoluteness of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to continue to thrive, despite efforts to destroy them.
Mount Herzl is home to many memorial events. The primary one is the ceremony held on National Remembrance Day (Yom HaZikaron) for all fallen soldiers and victims of terror. Specific events are remembered here, and soldiers' families also commonly come annually to mark the dates their loved ones fell. Due to the somber nature of Mount Herzl, it is not appropriate to bring young children who might disturb mourners.