Remembering Lieutenant Uri Binamo Uri's Way - Nesher Park

Remembering Lieutenan

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January 11, 2010 17:19
3 minute read.
Uri_1

Uri_1. (photo credit: )

 
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On the night of Sunday, 14th December, the fifth day of Hanuka, family and friends of Lieutenant Uri Binamo, with soldiers from his unit, met at "Uri's Way" at KKL-JNF's Nesher Park on the outskirts of Haifa, to light the Menorah erected in the forest in his memory. Lieutenant Binamo was a modern-day Hanuka hero, whose swift action, bravery and courage saved the lives of many Israelis on the fifth day of Hanuka only four years ago. On the morning of 29th December, 2005, two suicide bombers blew themselves up south of Tulkarem, when they were stopped and searched by a patrol of the Israeli army's "Nachshon" battalion. Lieutenant Uri Binamo, the patrol's 21 year-old commanding officer, had instructed the patrol to meticulously check every car coming out of Tulkarem. When he saw a taxi whose passengers looked suspicious, Lieutenant Binamo decided to check them out himself. He ordered one of the passengers, of whom he was particularly suspicious, to take off his coat. At the same time, Binamo commanded the soldier standing next to him to take cover. While this was going on, the Palestinian set off the explosives he had concealed under his coat and as a result of the explosion, Lieutenant Uri Binamo was killed. His determination prevented a suicide bombing in a crowded center and saved the lives of many Israeli citizens. For his bravery, he was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor by the Israel Defense Forces. Uri's mother, Rosie, spoke before lighting the menorah: "Since Uri was born, we have been coming here often to be in nature and it was among these trees that Uri grew up. It is difficult to use the words 'celebrating Hanuka' to describe what we are doing here today. This menorah in the forest reminds us of Uri because it is modest, upright and respected and it gives light to its surroundings. "The weather today reminds me of the weather on that terrible day when the army officers appeared at our door to tell us that Uri had fallen. It was overcast and the rays of the sun were trying to break through the clouds. And of course, it was the fifth day of Hanuka. Since then, I feel that we have been trying to come to grips with light and darkness. The light brings joy, and joy has helped me to cope with my loss. I feel the light and the darkness within me, and very slowly, they are learning to coexist. "When we light the menorah today, we will be lighting up the image of Uri, the person we love so much, the child, the friend, the son, the officer, the human being. He is our soul, and he brought light into many people's life. I thank everyone who made this site and this day possible, especially KKL-JNF and Pnina Zeisler, who are our partners to having created 'Uri's Way'." Uri's father, Avi, recalled coming here with friends four months ago, wondering whether their dream to commemorate Uri would become a reality. "Thanks to my wife Rosie, our friends and family, KKL-JNF and JNF America's Women's Campaign for Israel, who helped us to realize this project, we are here today. Thousands of children visit Nesher Park throughout the year. They will walk the educational path created by KKL-JNF in Uri's name and will stop at this wooden menorah, where they read about Uri's life and his ultimate heroism, which will serve as an example for them. I believe that in the future, the Ministry of Education will promote educational initiatives based on this site and Uri's life story. "There are no words to describe how much I miss my son. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I think of him and imagine him there with us. Unfortunately, we must be ready to pay a heavy price in blood for living in Israel, our country. I know that the story of Uri's self-sacrifice and his excellence as a soldier and an officer is being taught in the army and will inspire others to follow in his footsteps." "Uri's Way", the nature trail in Nesher Park dedicated to Uri's memory, begins at the Menorah and continues through the forest, offering activities related to camouflage and observations and ending at the Suspension Bridges. If you look next to the fifth candle itself, you can actually make out Uri's home in the distance.

For more information, please visit our website at www.kkl.org.il/eng or e-mail ahuvab@kkl.org.il



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