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Israelis stand in silent remembrance of Holocaust victims

Israelis stand still next to their cars on a highway as a two-minute siren sounds in memory of victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem on April 19, 2012.
Israelis stand still next to their cars on a highway as a two-minute siren sounds in memory of victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem on April 19, 2012.Sebastian Scheiner / AP
People observe two minutes of silence as sirens wail across Israel to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 19, 2012 during the annual ceremony at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem. The state of Israel marks the annual Memorial Day commemorating the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust during World War II. AFP PHOTO/POOL/GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
People observe two minutes of silence as sirens wail across Israel to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 19, 2012 during the annual ceremony at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem. The state of Israel marks the annual Memorial Day commemorating the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust during World War II. AFP PHOTO/POOL/GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)Gali Tibbon / AFP - Getty Images

The entire country of Israel came to a halt on Thursday when a siren sounded to mark Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day. 

The day is one of the most solemn on Israel's calendar. Restaurants and places of entertainment shut down, and radio and TV programming focuses on Holocaust documentaries and interviews with survivors.

-- The Associated Press and EPA contributed to this report

Holocaust survivor Meir Friedman waits to tell his personal testimony to Israeli border police officers during a ceremony marking the annual Holocaust remembrance day a in the Martyr's forest near Moshav Kesalon, in central Israel, Thursday, April 19, 2012. Sirens sounded across Israel on Thursday morning, bringing life to a standstill as millions of Israelis observed a moment of silence to honor the memory of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust of World War II. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Holocaust survivor Meir Friedman waits to tell his personal testimony to Israeli border police officers during a ceremony marking the annual Holocaust remembrance day a in the Martyr's forest near Moshav Kesalon, in central Israel, Thursday, April 19, 2012. Sirens sounded across Israel on Thursday morning, bringing life to a standstill as millions of Israelis observed a moment of silence to honor the memory of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust of World War II. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)Oded Balilty / AP

Holocaust survivor Meir Friedman, center right, tells his personal testimony to Israeli border police officers during a ceremony marking the annual Holocaust remembrance day a in the Martyr's forest near Moshav Kesalon, in central Israel, Thursday, April 19, 2012. Sirens sounded across Israel on Thursday morning, bringing life to a standstill as millions of Israelis observed a moment of silence to honor the memory of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust of World War II. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Holocaust survivor Meir Friedman, center right, tells his personal testimony to Israeli border police officers during a ceremony marking the annual Holocaust remembrance day a in the Martyr's forest near Moshav Kesalon, in central Israel, Thursday, April 19, 2012. Sirens sounded across Israel on Thursday morning, bringing life to a standstill as millions of Israelis observed a moment of silence to honor the memory of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust of World War II. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)Oded Balilty / AP

A man's eyes wells up with tears as he and everyone in a car of the electric light tram system comes to a stop in Jerusalem when a siren sounds for two minutes, April 19, 2012, marking Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day.
A man's eyes wells up with tears as he and everyone in a car of the electric light tram system comes to a stop in Jerusalem when a siren sounds for two minutes, April 19, 2012, marking Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day.Jim Hollander / EPA

Israelis stand still next to their cars on a highway as a two-minute siren sounds in memory of victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem on April 19, 2012.
Israelis stand still next to their cars on a highway as a two-minute siren sounds in memory of victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem on April 19, 2012.Sebastian Scheiner / AP