Yad Lashiryon Site
A commemorative stamp is issued each year to mark Memorial Day (Yom Ha'Zikaron) – Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day. The featured stamp is the commemorative stamp of 2006, featuring Yad Lashiryon at Latrun, on the main road from Tel Aviv-Jaffa to Jerusalem – the memorial site for the fallen soldiers of the Armored Corps (Kheyl Ha'Shiryon) of the Israel Defense Forces, which has played a decisive role in Israel's land wars. The British Mandate-era police station that caps the hilltop site constitutes a symbolic testimony to the bitter battles fought there during Israel's War of Independence in a desperate effort to secure the road to Jerusalem then under siege. Today, the building serves as the central commemorative site.
This location was the scene of the first trial by fire of the Armored Corps. Founded on May 15, 1948, a day after the declaration of independence, at the height of the battles of that year, the 7th Armored Brigade played a central role in the force tasked to capture the police station and secure the road to Jerusalem. The mission failed and the building was not captured. However, in a brilliant engineering feat led by the Brigade's engineers, a bypass road was carved out, named "Road Seven" after the Brigade, or, in its more popular version, the "Burma Road."
For 19 years the police station was mute testimony to the failed attacks on its walls, until the Six Day War of June 1967 when an armored I.D.F. column broke through the Jordanian lines and captured it. Since its founding, the Armored Corps has made its mark in a long series of military victories from the Sinai Campaign to the Peace of Galilee Campaign and in ongoing fighting to maintain the country's security today as in the past.
The victories achieved by the Armored Corps are first and foremost the product of the commitment of its soldiers, reflecting awareness that it is the soldier in the tank who will win, not the steel. Toward this end, the Corps focuses on nurturing and training the fighter side by side with developing and upgrading combat means.
Over 4,900 Corps soldiers have fallen in military campaigns and ongoing security activity. Their names are inscribed on the Wall of Names adjoining the main building of the site.
The memorial site, inaugurated in 1979, traces the history of the Armored Corps and provides details about the lives of its fallen soldiers. The site reflects the Corps' ongoing commemoration of its thousands of fatalities as a single body and as individuals, describing their lives as private persons and as fighters.
The large plaza at the entrance to the site is inscribed with rays that draw the eye to the center - the Armor's Tower of Tears. The memorial complex also includes a water tower capped by a Sherman tank, the Merkava (the israeli-designed tank) Hall, the Gate of Courage, the Daily Memorial Stand, and the Statue of Biography.
The site is surrounded by the Armored Divisions Park, containing monuments that provide information about the divisions and their soldiers. The park is also the setting of the Yad Lashiryon Tank Museum, one of the most varied and important of its kind in the world. Another site is the The Educational Complex for the Promotion of Traditional Values and Nature-related Studies; an international research center devoted to the migration of birds, which is integrated into the site's educational activities; an outdoor amphitheater; and the World War II Allies Monument. Planned are a museum devoted to Jewish fighters during World War II (a permanent exhibit is already on view), and a museum devoted to the legacy of the Armored Corps fighters in Israel's wars.
The hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Yad Lashiryon site each year include schoolchildren, official delegations from abroad and tourists.
The stamp was issued in 2006. Designer: Ronen Goldberg.