Staff Sgt. Oren Cohen, who was in killed last Monday's Sikorsky helicopter crash in Romania, along with five of his Israeli colleagues and a Romanian liaison officer, was laid to rest Friday at the Rehovot military cemetery. Large numbers of mourners, including family, friends and air force personnel, along with Israel Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. Ido Nechushtan, were in attendance.
A similar ceremony also took place on Friday in Haifa, at which Lt. Nir Lakrif was eulogized by his wife, who is four months pregnant. "We will never part, even if you are not with me. I love you," she said.
Lakrif's father, Yuval, also addressed his son, saying: "I am sending you off for another routine flight, until we meet again."
A recording of Cohen's own comments, made on Memorial Day of this year, was played at his funeral. "The road is not easy and won't be easy," he was recorded as saying. "We are trying to ascertain how we can be careful in our training... We are always training and improving ourselves so that on the day of judgment, we will be the best and we will win."
Cohen's brother Rubi, who serves in the same squadron his brother did and who was the first to receive the news of Oren Cohen's death, addressed his brother directly in his eulogy.
"Many will agree with me that you were a wise man, talented, charismatic, strong, a man of many skills, a guide, a leader and a devoted father," Rubi Cohen said. "I will miss your cynical and sometimes wicked and sometimes amusing criticism... You were my best friend. My anchor."
"Protect us," Cohen implored his late brother. "You are the most gleaming star in the sky."
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