“My Angel in the Sky”.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
H.E. Rosen Asenov Plevneliev, the former president of Bulgaria, planted a carob tree in the Jerusalem mountains, to stand alongside a tree planted in memory of his son Filip, who died suddenly at age 15 on August 8, 2015.
His Excellency Rosen Asenov Plevneliev served as president of Bulgaria from January 2013 until just a few weeks ago. When his son Filip died in 2015, his friend Eli Egosi, an Israeli businessman who built a mall in Sofia, asked KKL-JNF to plant a tree in Filip’s memory. The president, who was very touched by this gesture, asked to see his son’s tree and plant another tree next to it during his three-day visit in Israel.
KKL-JNF’s VIP tree planting site, which is next to the Yad Kennedy Memorial in the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, was the site chosen for both trees.
KKL-JNF Director of International Relations and Conferences Karine Bolton-Laor welcomed the honored guest and said: “Your family’s spirit will be forever in the mountains of Jerusalem.”
She described KKL-JNF’s history and elaborated on KKL-JNF’s commitment to sharing its knowledge with countries throughout the world. “KKL-JNF has achieved worldwide acclaim for its achievements in the fields of afforestation in semi-arid regions, combating desertification, forest planning, and more. People from everywhere come here to see what we have accomplished, and sharing our knowledge is part of our mission.”
Plevneliev said that in his home county of Bulgaria, there is a saying that a man has to build one house, plant one tree and have one son. “I have built many houses, planted many trees and am the proud father of three boys. One of them is my angel in the sky. He died suddenly, at age fifteen, and that was the worst moment of my life. At that time, here in Israel, you planted a tree in his memory, and by doing so, you gave me a hand, you shared my pain. This act will stay in my heart forever. Standing here now, I want to thank you. I have planted over 6,000 trees in many different places, but planting this tree here is very special. Maybe it is the most special tree of all.”
Read more about the planting ceremony with the Former President of Bulgaria and see photos