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Israel comes to standstill as sirens wail for Holocaust Day

Israeli soldiers attend the opening ceremony of the Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, April, 27, 2014. Israel's annual memorial day for the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust has begun with a ceremony marking 70 years since the Warsaw ghetto uprising. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

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Israeli soldiers attend the opening ceremony of the Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, April, 27, 2014. Israel's annual memorial day for the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust has begun with a ceremony marking 70 years since the Warsaw ghetto uprising. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

JERUSALEM - Israelis have stopped in their tracks, standing in silence as sirens pierced the air to remember the 6 million Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.

The Jewish state came to a virtual stop as the two-minute siren went off on Monday morning, marking Israel's Holocaust remembrance day — one of the most solemn days on the Israeli calendar.

Buses and cars stopped on roads and highways. Many people stepped out of their vehicles and stood in solemn silence. Pedestrians stopped walking and stood still in contemplation.

Melancholic music and interviews with Holocaust survivors are filling the airwaves while TV stations show documentaries about the genocide.

Ceremonies are held around the country. Names of those killed are read out at parliament later in the day.

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