The service at Mount Herzl was held according to the Hebrew calendar and broadcast on national television stations. Rabin was assassinated Nov. 6, 1995.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted an entire generation of Israelis has been born since Rabin's assassination, and stressed the importance of teaching about the tragedy and ensuring it is passed on from generation to generation.
"Rabin's murder is one of the greatest crimes in our modern history. It stains Israel's history and the history of Zionism. It will always be remembered as one of the most traumatic events in our nation's history," Netanyahu said.
President Shimon Peres praised Rabin for his dedication and courage in leading Israel through times of war as well as peacemaking.
"Rabin knew that the absence of decisiveness was likely to bring about a situation in which events would lead us, instead of us leading them," Peres said.
"Rabin negated the concept of a bi-national nation, fearing it will spark a never-ending conflict. He knew being a leader meant making hard choices and leading was his choice," Ynetnews.com quoted Peres saying.
Rabin will be remembered for his effort to make peace with the Palestinians, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said at a special memorial session at the Knesset. But the two-state solution has failed he said, adding, "in so small a space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there cannot be more than one country," Maariv, and The Jerusalem Post quoted him saying.
Rabin was gunned down by Yigal Amir while attending a peace ceremony in Tel Aviv.