Good evening everybody,
My name is Ori Greenberg and I am 15 years old. I love history, not just Israeli but also global history. I believe that we can learn a lot and that history can repeat itself if we cannot learn from it. I watch National Geographic and I dream about making a trip to the safari to see Africa myself. My dream is to be an Israeli ambassador.
I live in Hod Hashron with my two sisters- Lihi, who is 18 years old and about to join the army, Shira, 9 years old, and my mother, Sagit, who works as the finance director in a communication company. Next year, I will start my first year in high school and I will major in bio medicine. I love my family very much.
We were an ordinary family, but it all changed in July 19, 2014, the first day of Operation Protective Edge.
My father Amotz, an attorney by profession, was the head of a team of investigators in the Israel Securities Authority. But the IDF was always in our lives. He began his service as a young soldier in the armored corps brigade, and was transferred to a reserved unit for Miluim, where he served even after he passed the age of mandatory reserved duty, 40, and he continued his service as a volunteer.
He was very proud of his service. I remember him coming to pick us up from school wearing his army uniform and officer ranks. He always said that the role of the IDF is to protect the people of Israel, even at the cost of the soldiers' lives.
The last time I saw him was on a summer Friday afternoon, in July of 2014. His army friend called him, and he came to say goodbye and give us a hug. Never in my worst dreams could I imagine that this would be the last time I would hug my dad. He left home, and the war started.
Next thing I remember, a big ad with bold black letters was hung outside our home: With shock, dismay and profound agony, we received the news that our beloved husband, father, son and brother, Lieutenant Colonel Amotz Greenberg, was killed in battle..."
My father, my hero, died while protecting Israeli citizens from terrorists that came from Gaza. His funeral was a nightmare. We went through the worst time - we lost a loving husband to my mother, a great father to me and my sisters, a pillar to our family. We couldn't realize that he was gone, and our house became a sad house.
At first, it seemed like the pain and the sadness would never go away. And the truth is that the pain will probably stay for life. But as time went by, we learned to live alongside it. Never to forget, but also to live full lives and enjoy happy moments in our lives.
I go to a youth movement called HaNoar Ha'Oved together with my friends from school and the neighborhood. But there is another very special place I go to at least three times a year. It's called IDFWO OTZMA Camps, where kids like me meet for five days during our school vacations. We have a lot of fun together, but also support each other, as we can all understand what we go through, what life after losing a father in the army feels like. I got to celebrate my Bar Mitzvah with this group here in Toronto almost two years ago, and I will never forget how great it felt knowing that so many people care about what me and my family went through.
I want to thank you all for coming here tonight and supporting us, Toda Raba!