A day after a cease-fire went into effect between Israel and Hizbullah, Israel on Tuesday buried eight of its soldiers killed in battle over the weekend in Lebanon, including the son of prominent author and peace activist David Grossman.
The funerals across the country punctuated an already morose general atmosphere amid concern over the future, even as Israelis in the North tried to pick up their interrupted lives after the month-long conflict and return to normal.
Hours after his battalion returned to Israel from combat in Lebanon, Staff Sgt. Uri Grossman, 20, of Mevasseret Zion, was laid to rest at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl Military cemetery.
"I will not say a word here about the war, but our family has already lost in this war," David Grossman said in his eulogy for his son. "The State of Israel will have to do its own soul-searching."
In a bitter twist of fate, Grossman's son was killed two days after his father had publicly urged the government to end the war at a left-wing rally in Tel Aviv.
Grossman's older brother Yonatan, who served in the same tank battalion as Uri, did not conceal his vehement opposition to the military operation in Lebanon.
"If they send you to die, even the best tank in the world will not help you," Yonatan said in his eulogy.
The younger Grossman, who was two weeks shy of his 21st birthday, served as a tank commander and was due to complete his military service in November.
He had planned to travel abroad after his army service, and then to study theater.
Grossman, described by his father as the "leftist of the battalion," had turned down an offer to stay on in the army, his commander Elad Rasibi said, stressing that he wanted to study and broaden his horizons.
"I will see you if I do not die" Grossman told his friend Ro'i Sarel before the two last parted.
In his last conversation with his parents, he expressed his happiness over the cease-fire and said he would have Friday night dinner at home.
Instead, his comrades in arms, fresh from combat in Lebanon, buried him as the sun set Tuesday, amid the tall palm trees on the somber hilltop.
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