Unrealized dreams: Israel mourns pilot Assaf Ramon, 21, buried alongside his father- astronaut Ilan Ramon



"A nation grieves" by Amir Mizroch in JPost.com
Assaf was the eldest son of Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut. Ilan, and Assaf after him, represented our finest, our "best of the best."
As the youngest member of the squadron that carried out the daring bombing raid on Saddam's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, Ilan Ramon was more than just an ace pilot. He was what many young men, then and now, aspire to be. To many, inside and outside the country, he was the manifestation of the new Jewish warrior, determined never to let evil men attain weapons that could annihilate us.
When Ramon, son of a Holocaust survivor, took an artifact from the Theresienstadt ghetto with him into space, Jewish hearts all over the world filled with pride. 
"I was born in Israel and I'm kind of the proof for them, and for the whole Israeli people, that whatever we fought for and we've been going through in the last century (or maybe in the last two thousand years), is becoming true," he said. ... 
See, we said to each other, the dream is still alive. The son is taking his father's place. He could take us all the way to the top again, and who knows, maybe he'll go into space, and the whole world will hear our music again. Assaf fit so naturally into the narrative we had written for him.
So when rumors started spreading that the pilot killed in a training crash on Sunday morning was Assaf Ramon, our first reaction was one of adamant disbelief. Surely not. Not Assaf Ramon. Not again. 

No comments: