The New England Patriots honored slain American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz prior to their “Monday Night Football” game against the Buffalo Bills with an emotional moment of silence.
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Schwartz, 18, a resident of suburban Boston, was killed Thursday in a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank.
He was mourned by thousands in the United States and Israel, and was buried Sunday in his hometown of Sharon, Massachusetts. At his funeral, story after story told by family members and his Maimonides School baseball coach recalled Schwartz as a loyal Patriots fan who proudly wore the team’s jerseys and caps.
Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots, is located in Foxborough, the town that borders Sharon.
Schwartz followed the team even while studying in Israel, according to his father, Ari, who said the family watched the games together over the Internet. During one recent game, the teen lost his connection, but one of his younger brothers held up his phone to the televised game so they could continue watching by video call, Ari Schwartz said at the funeral.
“Football kept us connected and we loved it together,” Ari Schwartz said.
Robert Kraft, a Jewish philanthropist, owns the Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions.
Also Monday, Rutgers University lowered its flag to half-staff in recognition of the deaths of Ezra Schwatz, who was to start business school at the New Jersey university in the fall, and of Anita Datar, an aid worker and 1995 Rutgers College graduate who was among the 21 people killed Friday by terrorists in Mali.