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December 25, 1987 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-12-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

11■••■•••■=11111,1‘

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Rabin Visits West Point
Grave Of Marcus

WOLF BLITZER

Special to the Jewish News

W

est Point, New York
— Defense Minister
Yitzhak Rabin
came to the U.S. Military
Academy at West Point last
week to pay his last respects
to Colonel David "Mickey"
Marcus, an American Jewish
friend who died fighting for
Israel's independence in
1948.
The U.S. government pro-
vided Rabin with an Air Force
plane for the one-hour flight
from Andrews Air Force Base,
just outside Washington, to
Stewart Army Air Field,
which is about 50 miles north
of New. York City. Two U.S.
Army helicopters flew the
Defense Minister's party the
rest of the way to West Point.
Joining Rabin was a small

Rabin commanded
the brigade in
which Marcus had
volunteered.

group of senior Israeli and
American military officers,
Pentagon officials and two
journalists.
Marcus, a West Point
graduate, was buried there
shortly after being shot and
killed on June 10, 1948, dur-
ing the battle for Jerusalem.
He was 47 years old. Only a
few days earlier, Rabin, then
26 years old, had commanded
the brigade in which Marcus
— a heavily decorated World
War II veteran — had
volunteered. The unit was
then based near Harel and
Abu Gosh, trying to keep
open the main highway to
Jerusalem.
Rabin and his aides, joined
by Lt. Gen. Dave R. Palmer,
the superintendent of West
Point, and other American of-
ficers, drove to the cemetery
where Marcus is buried. His
wife, Emma, who died in
1982, is buried next to him.
On his tombstone is inscrib-
ed: "Colonel David Mar-
cus/Class of 1924/February
22, 1901, New York/ June 10,
1948, Jerusalem/A Soldier
For All Humanity." Below
that is added his Hebrew
name, David ben Mordechai,
with the inscription: "In
remembrance of his sacrifice
for the establishment of the
State of Israel."
A four-man U.S. military

honor guard was stationed
next to the grave as Rabin,
wearing a black kippa, stood
silently in solemn attention.
A lone bugler played Taps.
U.S. Army Major Kenneth
Leinwand, a Reform rabbi
who serves as the Jewish
Chaplain at West Point, read
Psalms in Hebrew and
English before reciting the
Kaddish.
Rabin then laid a large
wreath at the grave. There
was a Hebrew inscription on
it which noted Marcus' rank
as "aluf," or general, and not
colonel. An Israeli official
later pointed out that the
Israel Defense Forces had
given Marcus the rank of
general posthumously. The
wreath had been brought
aboard the plane from
Washington.
It was a brief but moving
ceremony for a genuine hero
who had managed to serve
well both the United States
and the fledgling State of
Israel. Because of that, Mar-
cus, no doubt, would have
been most proud to see the in-
credible development of
American-Israeli military
relations over these past 40
years.

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The closeness of that rela-
tionship, indeed, was very
much evident during Rabin's
stay at West Point. The
American army's high regard
for Israel's military capabili-
ty was especially clear during
Rabin's dialogue with the top
West Point officers. The IDF's
reputation is deeply
respected. Rabin was received
with all the necessary honors.

Rabin, himself a former
Chief of Staff of the IDF, felt
very much at home discuss-
ing some very sensitive
military details with the West
Point faculty. He described
aspects of current Israeli
military strategy and doc-
trine as the American
generals and colonels asked
very specific questions.
Before leaving West Point,
Major Leinwand, speaking in
fluent Hebrew, . escorted
Rabin and his party on a tour
of the new Jewish Chapel,
which was dedicated only two
years ago. The American
Jewish community raised
$7.5 million to pay for the im-
pressive building, which can
seat some 350 people in the
sanctuary. There are today 55
Jewish cadets at West Point —
out of a total of 4,417. There
are another 15 Jews on the
faculty.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

35

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