Israeli leaders and the family of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gathered at his grave to mark the end of the 30-day mourning period Tuesday.
Rabin’s widow, Leah, wore a blue blazer and colorful scarf around her shoulders to signal the end of the mourning period.
Her son Yuval, daughter Dalia and grandchildren stood weeping before the new grave beneath gray skies at Tuesday’s brief ceremony.
Yuval Rabin recited Kaddish, the mourner’s prayer, which was followed by two eulogies given by Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Amnon Shahak.
Describing the slain prime minister as a beloved and admired commander, Shahak called on the nation to take stock of itself in the wake of the tragedy.
“How did it happen? How did it happen to us, among us?” he said. “The soul- searching does not end with the end of the 30 days of mourning. It is just beginning now.”
Peres said Rabin’s death was not in vain.
“Your shoulders bore the burden of peace so that the children could be freed from the terrors of war,” he said. “The bullets that pierced your chest did not kill the fruits of your labors. They only exposed them.”
After filing past the grace, Leah Rabin and family members embraced close friends and shook hands with those who came to the ceremony – including Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, whom she had earlier criticized for contributing to an atmosphere of vitriolic verbal attacks on her husband in the weeks prior to the assassination.
Afterward, members of the Rabin family went to the Knesset for the opening of a photo exhibit dedicated to the late prime minister’s life and achievements.
Other remembrance ceremonies were held in Israeli schools to mark the end of the shloshim, the traditional 30 days of mourning.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.