Asaf and Rona Ramon at Ilan Ramon's funeral (archives)
Photo: AP
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
The scene of the crash
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

PM: Entire nation consumed by unending grief

Dozens arrive at Asaf Ramon's house, light candles and cry. Netanyahu mourns son of Israeli astronaut, killed in F-16 plane crash six and a half years after his father died in fatal Columbia mission

Shortly after the Ramon family was informed of the disaster, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mourned Captain Asaf Ramon, who was killed in a plane crash during a training flight.


"Few are the moments in which private pain slices through the national heart with such force. Today, the entire nation is consumed by unending grief over the death of Asaf, who fell from on high like his father, Ilan," said Netanyahu.


"This is a terrible tragedy for Rona and the entire Ramon family. This is a terrible tragedy for the entire Israeli nation."


The prime minister recalled the achievements of Asaf's father, Ilan, and that of his successor:" I was emotional when Ilan, the youngest pilot to bomb the nuclear death reactor in Iraq, took with him to space the memory of the Holocaust death camps."


"I was extremely emotional again when Asaf followed in his father's footsteps, graduating IAF's pilots' course with honors. The loss of each and every one of these magnificent people, the father and the son, is a disaster in of itself. The loss of them both is a pain too difficult to bear."


"There are no words of condolences for Rona and the Ramon family. There are no words of condolences to the people of Israel. There are only tears."


'Asaf and his father were larger than life'

President Shimon Peres eulogized Asaf Ramon as well: "In our worst dreams, we could never have imagined such a heartbreaking thing.


"I knew both of them – the original and the son in his image, the fruit of his loins – Ilan and Asaf, a fighter son of a fighter, a wise man son of a wise man, a fearless man son of a fearless man, a dreamer son of a dreamer. For the father – outer space was not the limit, for the son – the ceiling was higher than the skies".

Asaf at graduation ceremony with his mother (Photo:Haim Horenstein)


"As a family they were viewed as a symbol for everything glorious about the history of the Jewish people and for everything courageous in the land of the Jews. They were both righteous, standing tall, prepared for everything. They were both born and raised as cream of the crop, and have both fallen as that, and with them this wonderful woman, Rona, who has withstood unimaginable tests."


"They were plucked away from this earthly existence, into a legendary one, which will light the way for generations to come. Larger than life…"


IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi published a special communiqué following the crash:" in tearful eyes, along with the commanders and soldiers of the IDF and the entire people of Israel, I received the bitter news of Cptain Asaf Ramon's crash. Only three months ago I embraced Rona excitedly while Asaf received his honorary flight wings from the President."


"Cptain Asaf followed in his father, late Colonel Ilan Ramon's footsteps. Asaf followed the path of values, and strive for excellence paved by his father. The news is extremely hard to bear."


"Our hearts and all of us are currently with Rona, that wonderful woman, and with the entire family. We embrace you with warmth and love. This is, regrettably, the price of our life in this beloved land."


Yaheli Moran Zelikovich contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 09.13.09, 22:16
 new comment
This will delete your current comment