Former Israeli President Shimon Peres’s tombstone was unveiled on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, along friends and members of the Peres family.

“Solemnity and deep sadness envelopes us during these 30 days that you’re not with us Shimon,” President Rivlin said.

“In the days since you left us, stories about you and your deeds have come to light. Your role in the establishment of the country has been told over and over again: from the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Israel Aircraft Industries, Israel Military Industries, the Entebbe Operation, the settlement enterprise, the elimination of inflation and the national economic plan, your diplomatic moves, and your faith in peace.”

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During his speech, Netanyahu said “When I was an officer, we patrolled the country day and night. One night we got to Dimona, and they told us ‘you can’t cross this line.’ It took me several decades before I was finally able to cross the line and go into the Dimona reactor. Shimon Peres is the sole reason it was established. I would like to announce that I have requested that the nuclear research institute be renamed after Shimon Peres, as is so befitting for a visionary and a man of action.”

The family requested that several messages be inscribed on the tombstone. On one side is a quote from Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, which says “the spiritual character and Israel’s inner strength will be a main factor in the future our security and our international position.”

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His most distinguished political positions also appear, including president of Israel, prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister and finance minister.

Finally, the epitaph on 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.

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.”
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