Surprise turnout at 30-day memorial for Zachary Baumel

Family of soldier MIA for 37 years buried last month surprised when people from from all over country show up. 'A feeling of unity.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Zachary Baumel's funeral
Zachary Baumel's funeral
Hadas Parush, Flash 90

The family of fallen IDF soldier Zachary Baumel visited his grave to mark, as per Jewish tradition, the 30th day since his burial - almost four decades after he fell in the Battle of Sultan Yaqub.

The family members were surprised to discover that they were not alone next to Zachary's grave on Mount Herzl. "We thought it would be only us, but we found the whole House of Israel there," Osna Haberman, Zachary's sister, told Yediot Aharonot.

"Adults, young people, secular, religious. People connecting with the place in a unified way. They came from all over the country, from the north and from the south," she said. “It was a feeling of unity.”

Last month, Zachary’s body was returned to Israel 37 years after he went missing in action in the Battle of Sultan Yaqub in Lebanon. The chances of his safe return had diminished over the years. His family had since mourned his death, but after all these years they can at least now visit his grave.

During the week the body was returned, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow and thanked President Vladimir Putin for his assistance in the recovery operation. "Your gesture will not be forgotten. It is heartwarming to see the shared values ​​of respect and brotherhood and the important principle that no man is left behind."