Armored Corps Memorial Site

June 28th 2014

Yad L'Shiryon

From slingshots to tanks, the area surrounding Yad L’Shiryon at Latrun has sure seen it’s share of military tools. Several Biblical and otherwise historic battles have been fought in the Ayalon Valley, the lowlands between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Joshua and Judah the Maccabi fought their enemies here. Crusaders and British Mandate forces established fortresses here to secure the area. During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the battle at this location was crucial to opening the road to Jerusalem so its beleaguered residents could continue to receive food and water supplies. In 1967’s Six Day War, Israeli soldiers fought and died here in the battle to recapture the area from the Jordanians.

In 1982, Israel created Yad L’Shiryon, the Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum on this historic battlefield. Here, the Israel Defense Forces Armored Corps Division honors each of its 4,965 fallen soldiers every single day. The Memorial Site and Museum is located in Latrun, just off Highway 1.

The centerpiece of Yad L’Shiryon is the memorial complex with the Wall of Names. Here are the names of each of the nearly 5,000 Armored Corps soldiers who fell in the line of duty during all of Israel’s wars. All day, every day, the photographs of these heroes are projected at the Gate of Courage, and each day, a memorial service is held for those who died on that date in the Hebrew calendar. Look for the Statue of Biography, upon which biographical details of each of the fallen soldiers are recorded. Also in the main memorial complex is the Armor’s Tears Tower, which was created by artist Danny Karavan to honor the soldiers’ memories.

Stop at the imposing Merkava Auditorium for a visual presentation of the Armored Corps, projected simultaneously on nine screens. Also on the grounds you can also visit the Armored Fighting Vehicles (AVF) Museum, known for its display of over 150 armored vehicles. It’s considered one of the most diverse armored vehicle and tank museums in the world. There are plans to open the Trail of Time Museum, which will highlight the role of the Armored Corps in each of Israel’s battles.

Other highlights include the Armored Brigade Park, the Hall of Commanders, the Hall of Valor, the Allied Forces Monument, an outdoor exhibit of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Museum of Jewish Soldiers in WWII (forthcoming), an observation balcony, amphitheater and a huge resource center for documents pertaining to the Israeli Armor Corps. If you like military history, you won’t want to miss any of the riches of Yad L’Shiryon.