At 8 p.m. local time, sirens sounded across the State of Israel and Israelis stood silently to remember fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism in its 71st Annual Memorial Day observation.

According to Israel’s Defense Ministry, 23,741 men and women have fallen since 1860, including 56 servicemen and women since Memorial Day last year and 40 others who died from complications from prior year injuries.

Due to Memorial Day, rehearsals for Eurovision 2019 will not be done on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Rehearsals will resume on Thursday, May 9, 2019, when the Semi-finalists return for their second rehearsals. Hosts Israel and The Big Five (France, Germany, Italy, The United Kingdom, and Spain) do their first run on Friday, May 10, 2019 with seven of the Semi-finalists (Greece, San Marino, Armenia, Ireland, Moldova, Switzerland, and Latvia) doing their second.

Memorial Day observation officially ends at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, when businesses shut down for the day reopen and the mood switches to one of jubilation as Israel observes its 71st Year of Independence.

This is not the first time Memorial Day has impacted Eurovision – Israel became the first and only country to not participate the year after victory in 1980 to observe Memorial Day.

Join Matt and company as ESC United resumes live coverage on Thursday, though stay tuned tomorrow to our webpage, YouTube channel, and social media as we will not slow down.

Who has impressed or not impressed in rehearsals at Eurovision 2019 thus far? Let us know in the comments, on social media, or in our forum.

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