Memorial Day 2015: Guy Golan
© 2015, Gadi Bossin
P.O. Box 20
Kiryat Bialik, Israel
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MEMORIAL DAY 2015: GUY GOLAN
April 22, 2015
Memorial Day in Israel
As part of a nationwide campaign of lighting virtual candles in memory of the fallen, yesterday evening I lit a candle remembering Guy Golan. I posted it on Facebook.
Guy was the son of Leib and Hermona Golan. I met Leib during my 1965-66 volunteer year on Kibbutz Maayan Baruch.
The memorial page dedicated to Guy says the following:
רב סרן גיא גולן
בן חרמונה ואריה
נפל ביום ח’ בתשרי תש”מ
בית העלמין מעין ברוך
בן 26 בנופלו
הנצחה באתר יזכור
Major Guy Golan
Son of Hermona and Leib Aryeh Golan
Fell on the 29th of September 1979
Buried at the Kibbutz Maayan Baruch Cemetery
Israel Air Force
26 years of age
Here is my Facebook comment:
It’s Memorial Day in Israel. This is a virtual candle I’m lighting for Major Guy Golan, the son of our beloved Leib Aryeh Golan of Kibbutz Maayan Baruch where Andi Bar-Niv, Ruth Huberman, Suzanne Lange and I and about 20 other Sherut La’am volunteers spent the better part of a year in 1965-66.
Leib was our liaison to the kibbutz and a man with a big heart. Guy greeted us the first day we arrived on MB in mid-September.
He was a very precocious boy. Very bright. Very funny. Very challenging when he asked me, “Why do Israeli students have to study Shakespeare?”
I said, “You have to know Shakespeare to be an educated person.”
He said (at age 12, BTW), “And have you studied Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky?”
I had to shake my head, “No.”
Then he said, “How can you claim to be an educated man if you know nothing of these Russian writers?”
I was vanquished.
Eight years later when I was in the IDF, Guy and I hitchhiked together north from Tverya (Tiberias) in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, both of us heading home to Upper Galilee kibbutzim.
It was the last time I saw him.
He was a strapping young soldier at the time.
A pilot in the IAF, he fell in the line of duty in late September 1979.
May his memory be for a blessing.
How many people do we meet during our lives who stick in our heads, are unforgettable? Guy was one of them for me.
He was a 12-year-old boy who came to the volunteers’ quarters to trade matchbooks—he was a collector—and stayed around for some intellectual dueling.
He caused me to question the eliteness of the Canadian education I’d received, to recognize my own provincial and not-all-that-broadminded approach to life and learning, to admit that of the two of us—I was 18 going on 19—he was by far the cleverer and the wiser.
Thinking back, I don’t know how we recognized each other that evening when we found ourselves at the same hitchhiking station.
I was no longer the naïve youth I had been when I arrived at Maayan Baruch.
And Guy was no longer a boy at all. He was a man in his IAF uniform.
I don’t remember at all what we spoke about in the back of the small truck as we rode north.
It’s likely I sent regards to his father and more than likely he made some ironic remarks about how many people who had once spent some time—weeks or months or years—at Maayan Baruch that you can meet as you travel around, just about anywhere in Israel.
It was a privilege to know Guy.
יהי זכרו ברוך.