This article examines the interaction between official memory and popular memory through the case study of Olei Hagardom – Jewish underground fighters executed by the British in Mandatory Palestine. Studies of collective memory usually maintain that the ruling elite, with its control of state resources, dominates collective memory formation. However, the case of Olei Hargardom demonstrates the potentially limited power of institutional commemoration and exclusion in a democratic society. David Ben-Gurion and his government’s attempt to exclude these right-wing heroes from the national pantheon had limited impact. Menachem Begin’s persistent, partisan political efforts to include them were only partially successful. Ultimately, Olei Hargardom became entrenched in Israeli collective memory as a result of apolitical literary works, popular culture, and the establishment of a site of memory by spontaneous, grassroots efforts.