|Eulogy by Grandfather Mordechai ("Motkay") Artziely at the 30th day memorial service, April 10, 2003
|Eulogy by the IDF Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant General "Bogie" Ye'elon, on the 30th day service at "Beit-Ha'am", April 10, 2003
|Eulogy by Tomer's teammates (comrades-in-arms) in the Nahal reconnaissance company, on the 30th day service at the cemetery
Eulogy by Grandfather Mordechai ("Motkay") Artziely at the 30th day memorial service, April 10, 2003
I would like to share with you, if I may, a number of diagnostic insights on my part that pertain to our Tomer's military service.
Vivi and myself did not have many opportunities to see Tomer during the last two years, and even when we did see him, those meetings were never long.
It was only natural - that is the nature of military service.
At the same time, I always noticed his love for the country, his dedication to duty and his devotion to his friends.
Much to our chagrin, a substantial part of our knowledge (grandma Vivi's and mine) regarding Tomer in his last two years has been obtained, after his falling, from his friends in Moledet and throughout the valley, from his friends at the IAF flight training course, and particularly from his friends at the Nahal reconnaissance unit.
I had the opportunity, during these past thirty days of mourning, to closely watch his friends and to learn from them about Tomer, both directly through their stories as well as from various analogies, in the spirit of the ancient saying "tell me who your friends are - and I will tell you who you are".
Firstly, his friends in Moledet, his classmates, the "Children's Society" or the "Hevre".
Tomer was devoted to them with all his heart and soul. He grew up with them, he studied and went on trips with them and spent his pastime with them. Tomer was an exemplary friend, always ready to help, sensitive and loving to his friends, and they loved him back.
I watched these guys closely in various situations - at the funeral, during the seven-day mourning period and now, at the 30th day service, and in fact - every day. I watched the detailed video tape of their trip to Greece after their graduation from the 12th grade and prior to their recruitment into the military - how they traveled, how they had fun and how they enjoyed themselves. What a wonderful, unified group of people. If you wish to know more about Tomer - watch this bunch, see how they behave, listen to them and you have touched our Tomer. Young and beautiful and vibrant and sensitive and agonizing. Tomer was like that, one of them. True companionship indeed.
My second insight pertains to his comrades-in-arms and commanders in the military. We had only met a handful of them, grandma and me, during his service, but we had the opportunity of meeting most of them, again and again, and getting to know them intimately during the past thirty days. When we hug them and embrace them to our heart, it seems that we are hugging and embracing our Tomer, their Tomer.
I have already said to the President, to the Defense Minister and to the Chief of the General Staff, during their consolation visits here, that I, who had served in the Palmach, like all the others who fought for the establishment of the State of Israel, namely - those we know as the "1948 Generation" - I am qualified and entitled to compare my grandson to his grandfather, today's youth to the youth of those days. We had fighting spirit, daring and camaraderie. Our grandchildren's generation has all of those qualities, as much as we had, but in addition they possess far superior fighting skills.
And Tomer was brave and courageous and fearless, possessing the best possible camaraderie. I have seen this camaraderie time and again in this group of fighters and commanders of the Nahal reconnaissance unit, Tomer's people. How much Tomer loved them and how much they loved him. Listen to them and hear how they relied on him to fight along their side, and how Tomer relied on them. And now that Tomer has fallen at their side, they are beside themselves with grief and pain along with us, along with all of us.
Tomer did not relate much of the missions assigned to the reconnaissance unit and their various operations. When we asked him about it, he would answer briefly: "everything will be all right", and when we said "take care", he would say, once again, "everything will be all right", as if wishing to say: do not worry, we will take care of everything, we will watch over you.
Our dear, beloved Tomer - we know that you always did your best to watch over us and that you continue to watch over us even now. We will always cherish your memory with love beyond compare, as our eldest grandson - tall, strong, handsome and brave - a hero.
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||Eulogy by the IDF Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant General "Bogie" Ye'elon, on the 30th day service at "Beit-Ha'am", April 10, 2003
Commander, IDF Northern Command
People of the Valley,
And you, dear members of the Ron family,
Grandfather Motkay and the grandmothers,
Daphna and Bello
Yifat, Itay, Shachar and Amit
We have returned to the valley on the 30th day of Tomer's falling.
The valley where Tomer spent his childhood, his youth and the beginning of his maturity. The valley where he will never return.
There is something here, in this place, where the pioneers had redeemed the soil, which sprouts the best in us. A marvelous combination of a plot of land into which values of altruism were intertwined, with young people, whose roots come from deep inside the heavy soil of a nation fighting for its existence.
This valley, Tomer, this solid fabric of people and education for the love of the country - miss you.
In my position as commander-in-chief I often hear parents, and mothers in particular, say:
"Commander-in-chief, watch over my son for me".
In all of the times I met Bello and Daphna, Daphna would say to me:
"Bogie, watch over Tomer for me".
I followed Tomer since the day of his recruitment, and he never knew this.
I followed him in the flight training course; I followed his insistent decision to join a combat unit after he had dropped out of the course, despite the other, more comfortable options that were available to him; I followed his joining the reconnaissance company and he never knew all this.
A few months ago, a debriefing of a successful operation by the Nahal reconnaissance company in the Hebron area, against terrorists of the Islamic Jihad, was presented to me.
The operation was filmed from an observation post, and the video footage was presented to me in the context of the debriefing. At a certain point in the film, you can see one of the troopers, at the most critical stage of the operation, spotting the terrorists, opening fire and hitting them.
I asked: "who was that?" and they said: Tomer, the company commander's radio operator, and added praise about his performance. None of them knew that as far as I was concerned, that was Tomer of Daphna and Bello, the one that Daphna had asked me to watch over.
As I said, many mothers ask the commander-in-chief to watch over their sons. But when Daphna said that to me, I thought to myself that she was reminding me of certain debt, small and old, as she was the nursemaid of Imri, our son, at the nursery, and that in fact she was saying to me:
"Bogie, watch over my son, as I had watched over your son".
But even the commander-in-chief is not omnipotent, and I wish I could fulfill the requests of all mothers.
From the testimonies of Tomer's commanders and comrades-in-arms I learned that Tomer was a courageous fighter, who always led the way. Tomer was a leader and strove to lead, he proved himself in many missions under fire and readily accepted any task he was called upon to perform. Tomer was everything we expected him to be - a symbol, a model and an example to his colleagues, a much-loved friend among his comrades-in-arms and commanders at the unit. And I am not surprised, because I am familiar with the home he came from, I met grandfather Motkay and the grandmothers and I know the parents, Daphna and Bello.
When I stand here today in front of you, dear members of the Ron family, after you lost your dearest and most cherished, and despite the unbearable pain, I look you straight in the eye and say: the Israel Defense Forces will continue bravely, with determination and professionalism, to fight against the executors of terrorism, its planners and dispatchers, at any time and everywhere, as we have no other way.
Daphna, Bello and members of the family,
The IDF in their entirety are standing next to you, not just today, but every day of the year, in order to remember with you, to lend a supportive shoulder and help in any way possible with the daily, difficult and demanding task of coping - that is so vital in order to keep on going up the road.
These are decisive days. While our hand holds the sword, our heart yearns for more peaceful days. Those days will only come if we are strong.
May Tomer's memory be blessed.
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||Eulogy by Tomer's teammates (comrades-in-arms) in the Nahal reconnaissance company, on the 30th day service at the cemetery
You were taken from us and we thought we would never understand.
At your funeral, when Itay placed a shirt with the team emblem on the freshly-dug grave, we all thought: "how appropriate". The team, Tomer, died with you.
"What we were is gone, never to be again". How much we wanted to be with you just a little longer, to see you smile once more.
A month has passed. We still have not accepted it, but one thing we did understand, and must believe in - we did not die with you, Tomer. It's you who's still living with us. Every single experience we shared during our military service is alive and keeps beating in our hearts. Your images are still colorful, warm and beautiful in our minds, smiling at us with the same good humor, with the same charm.
This land, whose trails we have come to know together and where we saw you walking in the long nights, wearing the tactical vest and carrying your backpack and rifle, and those long legs, as if indifferent to the hardship, with that cynical smile on your lips, the same land you loved so much and which you defended, that returned evil for your good, will forever whisper your name in our ears.
Wherever we may go - you will be going with us.
In our operations - your composure and courage will continue to encourage and strengthen us.
In our team meetings - we will continue to sit together and laugh with you, swapping stories of our experiences.
Even when we're discharged - you will be discharged with us, and continue to accompany us, to encourage when required, to remark cynically when required, in whatever we may be doing.
We loved being with you. We cherish every moment we experienced with you and are glad for the opportunity we were given to meet you.
Tomer, rest in peace,
We promise that in our hearts you will never die.
Loving and missing you,
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