On Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) Israel mourns those who gave their lives for the Jewish State. To date, 23,646 have been killed defending the nation, 3,134 have become victims of terror attacks.
On Yom Hazikaron, Boys Town Jerusalem students remember the 70 graduates and teachers killed in Israel’s wars, conflicts and terror attacks. BTJ staff then gather at the nearby Mount Herzl military cemetery to pay their respects and recite prayers and share memories of those Boys Town “family” members who have fallen.
One of the graves they visit are those of Gad and his wife Tzipi Shemesh, who tragically became the first soldier-civilian couple to be buried alongside one another in this military cemetery.
Gad (Class of 1986) and Tzipi’s murder in 2002 in a deadly suicide bombing attack left the nation in shock and horror: just moments before a terrorist detonated the bomb on a crowded street in Jerusalem, Gad and Tzipi had learned from an ultrasound exam that Tzipi was expecting twins. She was killed instantly, and Gad died of his wounds hours later. Their two daughters were left orphaned.
At Boys Town Jerusalem, Gad had gained the skills in printing and a love for Jewish studies that were to shape his life. Following his graduation, Gad enlisted in the IDF where he was assigned to the military printing press, he excelled in his work. Soon after discharge, Gad returned to the IDF to become a career soldier and rose to hold top positions in the IDF Printing and Graphics Department. At the same time, Gad worked tirelessly to improve Jewish life on the large Tel Hashomer base where he served, he singlehandedly spearheaded the construction of a much-needed synagogue on the base.
At his death, Sergeant-Major Gad Shemesh was 34 years old. His wife Tzipi was 29. Only two among the 26,780 precious souls of Israel’s fallen, but whose memory remains alive, loved and honoured by Boys Town Jerusalem and all of Israel.
May their memories be a blessing.