Yad Lashiryon Site
The Yad Lashiryon Memorial at Latrun is the Armored Corps’ Memorial Site. Here, the Armored Corps remembers its fallen comrades, every hour of every day, all four thousand nine hundred and sixty-five together and each individual - their personalities as individuals and as fighters, how they lived and how they died. The Armored Corps honors each of the fallen both on a personal basis and as part of a whole.
Visitors to Yad LaShiryon meet the figures of the fallen: their names, their faces, their smiles, their ranks, their units, their acts, their achievements, the sum of their lives and their stories as individuals. In the background, visitors coming to pay their respects to the fallen of the Armored Corps meet their military and professional world, the world of the armored brigades and their soldiers in the IDF. Here they will find a display of the Armored Corps battle heritage, from the earliest days of the state and up to present times, the decisive role of armored forces soldiers in every victory and the special qualities of the men in the tanks. The site is imbued with the spirit of the Armored Corps, its commanders and soldiers.
This spirit was not created in a single day. Many people took part in creating it, each in his generation, and each in his own way, in building up the force, in the battles and in routine security. Part of the spirit of the Armored Corps has been carved from the special qualities of its commanders and soldiers, men of merit, outstanding figures, throughout the years of the state’s existence and in every period of the corps. However, another part of the Armored Corps spirit has been shaped from the special tradition of the Jewish soldier throughout the generations.
The site at Latrun is at a focal point of Jewish combat from time immemorial. In the Ayalon Valley Joshua Bin-Nun met his enemies, at nearby Emmaus Judah the Maccabi confronted his foes, here we battled for the road to Jerusalem in the War of Independence, and here we fought once and for all in the Six Day War.
General view of yadlashiryon site
What is Yad Lashiryon Site in Latrun?
Yad Lashiryon is located in Latrun, near highway No.1between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The site’s uniqueness is rooted in its place in history:
It was the site of the Biblical battles of Joshua Bin-Nun against the Amorite kings; in the book of Joshua it says: ‘Sun, stand still upon Giv’on; and moon, in the valley of Ayalon’ (Joshua 10:12).
This area was also a battlefield in the time of the Maccabis, the site of Judah the Maccabi’s battle against the army of Antiochus and his commander Gorgias, in which he defeated them and drove them to the sea. In the book of Proverbs it says: ‘For with wise advice shalt thou make war’ (Proverbs 24:6)
The 7th Division - the second armored division to be set up during the War of Independence - fought here at Latrun to open the way through to besieged Jerusalem. These battles decided the fate of the War of Independence with the freeing of our capital city.
The area was recaptured from the Jordanian army during the Six Day War.
Yad LaShiryon serves as an active commemoration of all the fallen members of the Armored Forces in all of Israel’s wars. Here the traditions of the Armored Corps and the tales of heroism of its fighters and units are preserved and recalled for the younger generation and for all visitors to the site. Yad LaShiryon serves as a warm home, a preparatory school for young, graduate and adult soldiers of the armored forces.
What does the site include?
§ First and foremost, there is a Memorial complex, with the Wall of Names on which are inscribed the names of all 4,965 fallen soldiers of the Armored Corps in all of Israel’s wars; the Gate of Courage on which photographs of the fallen are projected, twenty-four hours a day throughout the year; the Armor’s Tears Tower created by artist Danny Karavan; the Daily memorial stand where a memorial service is held for all those who fell on each particular day, according to the Hebrew date; the Statue of Biography giving information about each fallen soldier; and “The bind of Life” Synagogue where memorial prayers are held.
§ Merkava Auditorium - an impressive hall where a presentation of the Armored Corps is projected simultaneously on nine screens.
§ The AFV's (Armored Fighting Vehicles) Museum with a spectacular display of over 150 armored vehicles.
§ HERITAGE - Education Campus for Ethical Values and Nature. The Campus provides 250 students with full residential conditions, and those who study here will include soldiers, students and Jewish youth from abroad. Even now, extensive educational activities are conducted there for soldiers and school-age pupils, inculcating them with a knowledge and love of Israel and teaching them about Israel’s military heritage, commemorating fallen armored soldiers, field studies, studies of bird migration, and more.
§ The Armored Brigades Park - with brigade level monuments honoring and relating the story of the soldiers.
§ The Trail of Time Museum - under construction. The museum will present the role of the Armored Corps in Israel’s battles and will conclude with a tank crew under war experience.
§ The Allied Forces Monument - a salute by the Israeli Armored Corps to the Allied armored forces who defeated the Nazi war machine in World War 2. This is the only monument of this kind in the world. The memorial is comprised of three World War 2 vintage tanks (American, Russian, and British), resting on a mound of gigantic stones, and alongside is a series of flags from all the countries that fought the Nazi enemy.
§ The Museum of Jewish Soldier in World War 2 - to be set up in the shadow of the Allied Forces Monument and enveloping it, preserving the legacy and telling the heroic story of the Jewish soldiers in the Allied Forces during World War 2. For the meantime there is an Exhibition of the Jewish Soldier in World War 2 (400 sq. m.).
§ The Hall of Valor, in honor of The Armor Corps soldiers who were decorated with Valor Medal during the Israeli wars, the stories of these soldiers.
§ The Hall of Commanders, telling the stories of all the commanders of the Israeli Armored Corps since the establishment of Israel in 1948.
§ The Out-door Exhibition of the Yom-Kippur war in 1973.
§ Observation balcony, enabling all-around view of Latrun surrounding and including metal boars telling the history of Latrun area battles since Joshua Ben-Nun (the mid 13th century BC) up to The Six Day War in 1967.
§ Data Center, including big library and multi-media documents regarding the Israeli Armor Corps and armor in the world.
§ Amphitheater for up to 10,000 seats used for conferences, assemblies, ceremonies and so forth.
General view of yadlashiryon site
Main activities at Yad Lashiryon
The Yad Lashiryon site has 350,000 visitors a year, 70,000 of them schoolchildren of all ages, major foreign delegations and tourists from Israel and abroad.
Schools hold a rich variety of activities including tours on the subject of commemoration and heritage, memorial services, activities relating to knowledge of the country and nature, specializing in ornithology, camping and field skills, and activities relating to Jewish history in the region.
Other activities include school and army course graduation ceremonies, assemblies of army units and civilian bodies, marches relating to heritage, history, land and nature, conferences and training courses for military units and civilian organizations, including teachers in the education system.
All the above events are preceded by a tour of the site, with time and attention devoted to the subject of commemorating the fallen comrades.
Major General (Ret.) Chaim Erez
Yad LaShiryon - The Armor Corps Memorial Site.
To contact the “Yad Lashiryon” Association:
Internet site www.yadlashiryon.com
M.P. Shimshon 99762