Hundreds showed up at the Rishon Lezion Military Cemetery on Thursday for the funeral of 20-year-old Cpl. Viacheslav Gargay, who was killed Monday in an maintenance accident in northern Israel, after his mother called on the public to come to his funeral.
“He loved his country. He told me, ‘Mom, I have to give something of myself,’” said his mother, Tanya.
Gargay, who immigrated from Ukraine with his mother, had no other relatives in Israel.
A post shared on Facebook on Thursday morning called on the public to come and pay its last respects to Gargay and to support his mother.
“Today at 14:30 Cpl. Viacheslav Gargay, a new immigrant from Ukraine who was killed two days ago in an accident with an APC on the Golan Heights, will be laid to rest. The soldier has no family in Israel except his mother, Tanya. His biological father is bedridden in Ukraine due to a serious illness and cannot attend the funeral.
“The soldier’s mother calls on the people of Israel to come and pay their last respects to her son. All Israelis are guarantors for each other – let’s support the soldier’s mother to accompany Slava on his final journey.”
Following the posting on Facebook, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the public to heed her call.
“Slava’s mother, Tanya, has made an impassioned plea to the citizens of Israel to come to his funeral. We will send a representative from the government, but I urge you to read his mother plea and come to pay your respects. Come and be with her at this painful time.”
Gargay served in the Ordnance Corps in the Golani Brigade and was killed when he suffered a serious blow to his upper body from a piece of steel during routine maintenance work on an armored personnel carrier at his base.
The IDF is investigating the circumstances of the accident.