Mirage Family Members
Flying Aces Sign the Pictures The flying aces of the IAF met at the IAF Home in honor of one special painting, which they all signed: A picture of the legendary Mirage plane. A rare picture in memory of Lieutenant Colonel Avi Lanir
Yuval Tsuk | Photography: Yonatan Zalk
Yesterday, the IAF Home in Hertzliya housed the “Mirage Family”, as Commander of the IAF called them in his speech. The family meeting was held in honor of obtaining the Mirage Painting: a drawing of the plane along with the signatures of those in attendance, which was initiated by Major General (Res.) Giora Even Epstein in memory of Lieutenant Colonel Avi Lanir.
The warm, family-like evening included executives of the force from previous years, whose years of fame were mostly in the 60’s 70’s. The evening included many conversations on the Mirage plane, which accompanied many of those in presence on their life paths, and on Avi Lanir, who most knew or heard about at some point in their flying career.
In the speeches that were given by Even Epstein himself, Hertzel Bodinger, Oded Maron, Commander of the IAF Major General Ido Nehoshtan and Noam Lanir Avi’s son, personal knowledge was integrated with personal experiences of friends. The speeches also noted the stories of important characters in the forces history, such as Joe Alon, Ran Peker, Yehoram Agmon, some of whom even sat in the audience.
“Avi’s Story Affected Many Generations”
The fabric covering said picture was removed by Lanir’s grandchildren, and the evening was sealed with a group photo of the “Aces” of the Mirage Family. The Flying Aces who signed the drawing stepped up one by one to receive a copy of the rare picture, which is worth 2000 dollars for those who prefer to buy one online.
Commander of the IAF said in his speech that he did not know Lanir personally, but was struck by his legacy more than once in his way to becoming the head of the force. “As commander of Hatzor airbase, you are very familiar with the history of the First Combat Squadron, and within it the history of Avi Lanir. With his story, Avi has affected many generations of IAF fighters, including myself”, said Major General Nehoshtan in his speech.