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World leaders and his family eulogize Israel's Shimon Peres

Back from left to right: US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wife of the Israeli prime minister Sara Netanyahu and former US president Bill Clinton watch on as children place flowers on the grave of former Israeli President and Prime minister Shimon Peres at the Mount Herzl national cemetery during his funeral on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. (Menahem Kahana, pool via AP)
September 30, 2016 - 6:07 AM

JERUSALEM - Former Israeli President Shimon Peres was buried Friday after a funeral attended by scores of world leaders and dignitaries. He died earlier this week aged 93, after suffering a stroke. Peres' family, Israel's prime minister and president, U.S. President Barack Obama and former U.S. President Bill Clinton eulogized him at the ceremony.

Here are some of the highlights of their words:

"I could not be more honoured to be in Jerusalem to say farewell to my friend Shimon Peres who showed us that justice and hope are at the heart of the Zionist idea. A free life in a homeland regained. A secure life in a nation that can defend itself by itself. A full life in friendship with nations who can be counted on as allies always. A bountiful life driven by simple pleasures of family and by big dreams. This was Shimon Peres' life; this is the state of Israel. This is the story of the Jewish people over the last century, it was made possible by a founding generation that counts Shimon as one of its own."

"In many ways he reminded me of some other giants of the 20th century that I have had the honour to meet, men like Nelson Mandela, women like Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth — leaders who have seen so much, whose lives spanned such momentous epics that they find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the movement."

"We gather here today with the knowledge that Shimon never saw his dream of peace fulfilled. The region is going through a chaotic time. Threats are forever present. And yet he did not stop dreaming, and he did not stop working." — U.S. President Barack Obama.


"He started life as Israel's brightest student, became its best teacher and ended up its biggest dreamer."

"He lived 93 years in a state of constant wonder over the unbelievable potential of all the rest of us to rise above our wounds, our resentments, our fears to make the most of today and claim the promise of tomorrow," — former U.S. President Bill Clinton.


"Your death is a great personal and national loss, as it is also the end on an era, the end of the era of giants whose life stories are the stories of the Zionist movement and the state of Israel. This is our profound feeling today. A feeling of the end of an era in the nation's life, the end of a chapter in our lives." __Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.


"He was a great man of Israel. He was a great man of the world. Israel grieves for him. The world grieves for him. I loved you. We all love you. Farewell Shimon. Dear man, great leader." — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


"Much has been said about his forbearance and infinite patience. He measured long and short on a timeline of two thousand years of history when weighing the state of the nation, but in nanoseconds when waiting for a text to be printed. He was ready with his new corrections even before the ink was dry. A day after lending me a book, he was astonished to learn that I had not yet finished reading it."

"I remember him at the table of a French restaurant, when he whispered in my ear, 'it tastes good, but nothing compares to your mother's salad.' To him, Israel's cucumbers and tomatoes were the finest of delicacies." — Peres' daughter, Tzvia Walden.


"When asked what he would like to have inscribed on his tombstone after death, he said, without hesitation, 'He was too young to die.' Indeed, my dear father, this is how I feel - you left us prematurely. There is so much more you could have done," — Peres' son, Yoni Peres.


"You always preferred the possibilities offered by the imagination to clinging to memories of the past. The legacy you leave to us is the world of tomorrow," — Peres' son, Chemi Peres.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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