Thirty days after the Israel’s ninth President Shimon Peres was laid to rest among Israel’s national heroes in Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, a ceremony will take place on Friday to mark the unveiling of his tombstone.
The traditional Jewish ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at 10:00am, will be attended by president Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with family and friends of the Peres family.
Engraved on the austere, black tombstone to be unveiled are a few words which were requested by the family.
One side displays a quote by Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion who nurtured the young Peres and placed in him tremendous belief. “In the future, Israel’s spiritual character and inner resilience will constitute the main factor in our safety and international stature.”
The quote is an extract taken from the book ‘Like Stars and Dust,’—a compilation of articles written by Ben-Gurion.
The other side of the tombstone bears a verse taken from the book of Isaiah 2:4 which represented Peres’s beliefs and which were manifested through his actions, personified through his efforts.
“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”
Also appearing on another spot on the tombstone is an excerpt from the poem ‘After my Death’ by the Hebrew and Yiddish poet Hayim Nahman Bialik: ‘For one more song he had…And see now, the song has perished, His song is lost, gone for good.”
Peres is described on the gravestone as “one of the founding fathers of the state which he served his entire life.”
His most distinguished political positions also appear, including president of Israel, prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister and finance minister.
Finally, the tombstone also pays tribute to some of his most significant contributions, particularly those revolving around Israel’s security establishment including his notable achievement in bringing to fruition the creation of the Dimona reactor.
Moreover, it pays homage to his contribution to Israel’s defense industry and the painstaking efforts he undertook for the advancement of peace between Israel and her neighbors.
To encapsulate his character in just a few words, his family chose the following: “a statesman, a lover of books, poetry and art, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, a visionary and a pragmatist.”