Close to 1,000 soldiers and civilians arrived Thursday at the military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem to pay their last respects to IDF soldier Alex Sasaki, who passed away this week.
Sasaki, a lone soldier from the Golani Brigade who immigrated from the United States to contribute to the state through combat service in the IDF, was found dead earlier this week.
On various Facebook pages, an appeal was made to the public to attend Alex's funeral out of respect and appreciation for his contribution to the IDF.
Among the participants at the funeral were Alex's friends from the Golani Brigade, cadets in an officers' course who were on a tour of Jerusalem, and many citizens who wanted to pay him last respects and support his family in their time of distress.
One of the soldiers told Israel Hayom, "The Education Corps issued a statement about Alex's funeral so that as many soldiers as possible could come to accompany him on his last journey." Alex's friends in the Golani Brigade covered his grave with the earth of Jerusalem as some of them cried. Alex’s commander, Yonatan Lux, said kaddish for him.
"Your friends and commanders saw you as an inspiration, a loyal friend who performs his responsibility in the best possible way," lamented Lieutenant Colonel Itai Matak, commander of the 12th Battalion. "You came to Israel, enlisted and chose the difficult and significant path. For me, you are the embodiment of Zionism. You brought calm and unity. We will remember your joy for life and your smile that remained even on the cold and hard nights.”