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May 19, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 19, 2017 PAGE 7A 5 .i of hi Rami Wald with his lO-month-old son Alon Wald. By June Glazer ager and event coordinator at Ammunition Hill, is the Over the course of three son of Rami Wald, an Israel days, beginning June 5, more Defense Forces (IDF) captain than 182 Israeli soldiers fell and a war hero who fell on along the Jerusalem front the first day of fighting. At fighting against Jordanian the outbreak of the war, Alon forces in what is ingrained in was only 10-months-old, Israel's collective memory as and since then he has spent one of the Six-DayWar's fierc- much of his adultlife tryingto est and bloodiest battles. Am- piece together the story of his munition Hill, acriticalpartof father's bravery. The journey the struggle for Jerusalem, is is what led him to give avoice todayaJewish National Fund- to those who fell in the battle sponsored national memorial for Jerusalem, and share their site that honors and tells the untold stories with visitors. story of the heroic soldiers "My father was a carpenter, whodiedinthefighttoreunite newly married, and with a the capital city in 1967. baby on the way. At 32-years- AlonWald, marketingman- old, hewasan'old' reservistin the 28th Paratroopers Battal- ion, a combat engineer expert who had taught soldiers his specialty for many years,"Alon said in his office. "Prior to the war, the army told my father that he had 'done enough,' had 'family responsibilities,' and if he was ever needed, he would be an adviser to General Mordechai 'Motta Gur, his brigade commanding officer." When war broke out on June 5, Wald was immediately called up by Gen. Gur, who was in charge of the division trying to capture the Old City, which had been lost to Jordan in the 1948 War of Independence. Wald was deployed as part of Gen. Gur's commanding offi- cers contingent, and rode with him in the armored vehicle collecting and analyzing data. The details of what hap- pened next remained a mys- tery to Alon for much of his life. Driven to learn more about his father, at age 40 he began seeking answers from the men who were with his father and the last to see him alive. "I always knew he died a hero, but as a kid it's an un- written rule that you don't ask too many questions," he said. "As the years went by, I wanted to better understand the man who was my father." He began putting together the pieces of the puzzle, first by speaking with the intelligence officer who was with Wald in Gen. Gur's vehicle. "The battle for Jerusalem had already begun, and the re- servists were getting ready to open up the way to Ammuni- tion Hill, the strategic hilltop Gary Singer with guest speaker Alon Wald, Iris Wald, David Gabbai, and Bruce Gould at a private event held at Bruce Gould's home for Ammunition Hill. occupied by the Jordanians system, which is located at Waldandconfidedinhimthat that served as the gateway to- the rear of the tank, when the he was afraid. Wald reassured wardtheOldCity'sliberation," engine fired up and a blast of him, and said, "You will go Alon recounted from what hot exhaust hit him in the in safely and you will come he learned. "The officer said eyes," Alon said. out safely. Now, let me do my that my father knew the sol- The medic dragged Wald work." diers were entering a danger away, bandaged him up, and Bangalore explosives pro- zone, one where they would turned his attention to the duce a distinctive, thick have to navigate through a chaotic scene unfolding. The smoke and immediately after 300-meter-longminefieldand medic said that 15 minutes the blast, two soldiers with overcome barbed wire and laterhesawWaldyankoffthe flashlights are charged with trenches. But Motta didn't al- bandages, pickuphisrifle, and directing the soldiers down lowhimtojoin, reminding my make a dash toward the front, the cleared path. It was also dad that he had already 'done The last person to see Wald a given that once the Jorda- enough.'Myfatherbeggedand alivewasNirNitzan, whowas nians saw the smoke they argued until Motta relented." second-in-command of the would begin shooting into it, Alon learned more from the platoon that captured Am- knowing that their defense medic whotreatedWaldafter munition Hill on the second line had been breached. he was injured. According to day ofthewar. Nitzan and the "Because he knew this drill themedic, asthefirstplatoons combat engineers were lay- better than anyone else, my were rushing toward the Jor- ing Bangalore torpedoes, an father grabbed a flashlight danian forces, Wald appeared explosive chargeplacedwithin and jumped in right after the "out of nowhere" a mere 300 connecting tubes, to clear a explosion,"Alonsaid."Hewas meters from the front line. path through the minefield, instantly shot three times in "My father approached atank That's when Waid again ap- the chest and fell down, still from behind to speak with its peared "out of nowhere." holding the flashlight and commanding officer through Good friends as civilians, the internal communication Nitzan was relieved to see Heroism on page 15A