The IAF family congregated on the Pilots’ Mountain. Uri Carmel told of the father he never knew, Tzvi Kantor remembered his friends that are gone and Ovadia Goldman performed Kadish on his son, who died in the Romanian exercise accident
Memorial Day 2012. The IAF has conducted the main ceremony on the Pilots’ Mountain, the main memoriliazation center for the force. At 11:00 AM, as the memorial siren wailed on, an aerial demonstration of an F-15 squadron with a missing plane flew over the mountain.
The Kadish was performed by Mr. Ovadia Godman, the father of Lieutenant Colonel Avner Goldman who died in the CH-53 accident in Romania in July 2010.
“I was born six months after the death of my father, and my mother named me after him”, said Uri Carmel, son of Second Lieutenant Uri Carmel, who died in an aerial accident in April 1964. “I didn’t get ot meet my father. This is the loss of my life and it is seared into my DNA. But I met the love of my life, and I consumated that in the birth of my three sons, Guy, Zohar and Lior, the grandchildren of that same pilot cadet, who died that night.
Two years ago, the nine families of the Nord Plane Disaster were invited to tour the crash site for the first time. Dana, the three boys and I all drove to the Yerucham lake, where members of the squadron awaited us. We drove through dirt roads until the edge of the giant crater, and from there we hiked on-foot. At some point, Micha pointed at a point at the top of the cliff. We climbed up.When we got to that point, we began scanning the face of the ground. Suddenly, we heard the voice of my Zohar calling excitedly: “Dad I found…”. Slowly, we began discovering small objects, foreign ones: pieces of electricity cables, aluminium…I felt the small plane ruins in my pocket, I looked at my children and at the large mouth of the crater at our feet. I had never been so close to touching my father”.
The bereaved friends’ representitive will be Brigadier General (Res.) Tzvi Kanor (Kantor), a former combat pilot, who fought in the Six Day War, the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War and the First Lebanon War. His daughter Lihi lost her husband Shai Danor in a Cobra helicopter crash.
“Those voices again. The merciful god and the firings toward the skies. Thoughts go here and fro in all directions, and the hebrew vocabulary provides one word-‘Ga’aguim’, missing, and even it also loses from its power. My little granddaughter, the daughter of the pilot Shai Danor and my daughter Lihi, asks if there’s any place in the narrow hole, if it isn’t cold at night and what do you do when it rains. The piece of chocolate that is placed on the cold marble and a letter written in round letters that attempts to express bottomless love.
We, the friends, are left with the pictures, with the objects collected and the scents that disappear as time goes by. I want to hold the hands of the Commanders in the IAF. May our friends rest in peace”.
The bouquet of the bereaved families will be placed on the monument by Amalia Cafri and Michal Assa, mother and daughter, who are both bereaved IAF mothers.
Amalia is the mother of Sergeant Yair Cafri who died in November 1970, and the Grandmother of Captain Matan Assa who died in an aerial accident in October 2008. Together with her daughter Michal Assa, the sister of Yair and the mother of Matan,
She placed flowers on the monument.
The bouquet of foreign attaches was placed by Austrian Attache, Colonel Nicholaus Yeger.
Commander of the IAF lit the memorial fire and gave a speech.
This year, 11 families joined the all-too large IAF bereavement family. We join them in their pain. The IAF has lost 1,482 sons and daughters throughout the years, and the IDF has lost 22,993 of its people to this day.
May they rest in peace.