There are around 100 Americans in Israel’s army, and Michael Levin was one of them. He was killed on Tuesday in a Lebanese village rooting out Hezbollah terrorists.
JERUSALEM– A young American who cut short a visit to his family in Pennsylvania to return to his Israeli army unit fighting in Lebanon was buried Thursday on a rocky hillside in Jerusalem.
Friends and family locked arms before the grave and wept, and soldiers stood at attention and held back tears as they buried Staff Sgt. Michael Levin, 22, originally of Holland, Pa.
Levin died in the Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab when an anti-tank missile fired by Hezbollah guerrillas struck a building he was searching Tuesday. He was one of three Israeli soldiers killed in the battle, and he was buried in the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.
Levin came to Israel about four years ago, first to study and live on a kibbutz before fulfilling what his close friends said was a lifelong dream of joining an elite Israeli paratrooper unit.
Several hundred mourners, most of them appearing to be in their 20s and many in army uniforms with rifles strapped across their chests, waited as Levin’s coffin was carried to a neat rectangle dug out of the stony ground.
The casket was draped in an Israeli flag and carried by six soldiers to the grave site. A bearded officer in uniform sung a prayer in front of the coffin as it made its way from a military hearse to the grave. Other soldiers followed behind it, touching the coffin and wiping tears.
The coffin was lowered into the ground as friends and family sobbed loudly and choked back tears. The casket was quickly covered with dirt from white bags piled nearby. Soldiers with eyes reddened by tears hugged one another and mourners squeezed into open spaces between the cemetery’s graves to listen to a ceremony conducted in both Hebrew and English.
We shouldn’t forget the Americans who are on the front lines fighting the Islamofascists in Israel. America and Israel are in this war on terror together.