A memorial ceremony marking the  unveiling of the gravestone of former President Shimon Peres took place Friday morning at the Great Leaders of the Nation Cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, marking the end of the “shloshim” mourning period.

According to Jewish tradition, the shloshim service (“shloshim” is Hebrew for 30) marks the end of the mourning period for all relatives of the deceased, except for one’s parents, in which case certain rules of mourning apply for a full year.

President Reuven Rivlin began the ceremony, saying, “Above all of your successes, you had a huge soul. You never tired and never rested. You worked tirelessly on building a future not only for Israel, but for the entire world.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “I wish to announce here that, upon my request, the Committee for Nuclear Energy has decided to rename the Dimona nuclear reactor facility after Shimon Peres – an appropriate name after a man of vision and a man of action. Shimon had numerous contributions – contributions to peace, to economics, to increasing immigration to Israel, to encouraging Israeli innovation, but all of these are only possible if our defense is secure.”

Peres was largely responsible for building the country’s air force, and later the country’s nuclear reactor in Dimona.

“Shimon was a beacon of knowledge and curiosity. Eyes shining, he would weave dreams and hopes with his indestructible optimism,” Netanyahu concluded.

‘You Were Always the Cool Grandfather’

“You never failed to make me laugh. I loved hearing your first-hand accounts of the history of Israel. You were always the cool grandfather – wearing your beautiful sunglasses. Even at the age of 90 you still looked young. I love you with no end and miss you so much,” said Yael Peres, the late president’s granddaughter.

Mika Almog, another granddaughter, told the assembled: “This feeling, this loss, echoes in the hearts of the people of Israel. But there is something imperative to understand: there will never be a single day without Shimon Peres. Just as there is no building without a foundation, no victory without bravery, and no future without hope. There will never be a day without Shimon Peres. I promise you this, Grandfather. But even more importantly, I promise to ensure the future of our children. So rest in peace, because we will not rest for a moment.”

Young Jews and Arabs from across the country, active at the Peres Center for Peace, were among the participants.

At his family’s request, the late Ninth President’s tombstone was engraved with the following:

A verse from the Bible: “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2).

A quote from David Ben-Gurion that describes the spiritual nature of Israel: “The continued spiritual nature and inner strength of Israel in the future will be the main factor in maintaining our security and international position” (David Ben-Gurion, Stars and Dust).

A selection from the poem After My Death by Chaim Nahman Bialik: “One more melody did he have, and now that song is forever lost, forever lost.”

As is customary, the tombstone also included the following:

Shimon Peres, son of Sarah (Lavit Meltzar) and Isaac (Getzel) Perski, Vishnive 02.08.1923, 20 Av 5683, Tel Aviv 28.09.2016, 25 Elul 5776.

For more than 60 years, Peres served the country in the highest positions, including as the 9th President, the 8th Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Foreign Minister and Finance Minister.

By: United with Israel Staff