Israel on Monday morning came to a complete standstill for two minutes as nearly every citizen solemnly marked the Nazi Holocaust and the six million Jewish lives it claimed.
As air raid sirens wailed across the country, motorists stopped their cars, school children ceased their studies and everyone everywhere stood in reverent silence.
Immediately after the sirens, official state ceremonies were held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, while the chief of Israel's army led a march of Israeli soldiers, Holocaust survivors and other Jewish participants through the most infamous of Nazi death camps - Auschwitz.
Israeli army spokesman Eytan Buchman posted the following to his Twitter account:
"Sometimes the loudest response is pure silence. Today a country stood still to say Never Again. Proud to be an IDF officer today."
No matter how many times one hears those sirens, the experience is never less powerful. An entire nation blanketed in the sound of mournful sirens, an entire population halting all activity to stand in solemn silence. It is a commemorative act likely unprecedented in history.
* PHOTO: IDF Chief oF Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz visits the crematorium at the Aushwitz death camp in Poland
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