13th September 2009.
I am so sad to report that Lieutenant Assaf Ramon, eldest son of the late astronaut Ilan Ramon, was killed today in a tragic accident. Ramon’s F16 fighter plane crashed into a stony hillside and the pilot was killed instantly.
The children of those killed in the line of duty do not need to serve in combat units, indeed they need to volunteer and receive the remaining parents consent to do so.
Our hearts go out to Rona Ramon whose heart is broken again with tragedy.
Assaf completed his pilot’s course with honours just two months ago following in the footsteps of his father, Ilan Ramon, some 35 years ago. Col. Ilan Ramon became the first Israeli to fly into space, but tragically the Colombia space shuttle he was in crashed as it returned to earth in 2003.
Assaf was 15 when he lost his father. Even then, he announced his desire to follow in his path and become a pilot.
May their souls rest in peace and may Rona and son Yiftach know no more sorrow.