Col. (res.) Lion Bar, 53, a retired senior officer in the Judea and Samaria Division, was killed battling Hamas terrorists in southern Israel on October 8.
Bar, who lived in Gedera with his wife and three children, did not wait to be called up to the reserves before racing to the scene on Saturday morning in his personal vehicle.
His family said Bar spent hours evacuating wounded people from the scenes of Hamas atrocities, bringing them to hospitals all over.
His son, Omer Bar, wrote a lengthy Facebook post detailing his father’s heroics, saying he wants the world to know “the honor he deserves.”
“Already at 8 a.m., before he was called up to reserves… my father took his own initiative and put on his uniform and helmet and went without thinking or blinking,” wrote Omer. “My father is an Israeli hero.”
“From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. he did not stop evacuating the wounded, to Barzilai, Soroka, Kaplan, dozens and dozens of wounded,” Omer wrote. “When news came about the [Supernova music festival] he didn’t hesitate, he drove there and started searching for the wounded and rescuing them. Loading up more and more helpless people… back and forth. That was my father.”
Bar came home from the frontlines that evening, but decided he needed to return on Sunday, and Omer went with him. By then, said Omer, all they could see all around were bodies, and they shared the information with ZAKA volunteers so they could be collected. Omer and Lion stopped by the Black Arrow Monument near Kibbutz Mefalsim, which memorializes all those Israeli soldiers killed in enemy infiltrations from 1953-1956.
“And that’s when my worst nightmare started,” Omer wrote, recounting how they were ambushed by terrorists with grenades and gunfire. Omer was shot twice in the legs, and he never saw his father alive again.
“My father is an Israeli hero. Salt of the earth. Full of goodness — only wanted to help.”
A 22-year-old partygoer, Gal Levy, who was shot in the knee, told Israel Hayom that Bar was the one who brought him and others to safety. The newspaper connected him with Bar’s widow, Einat, to whom he recounted his heroics: “He drove like crazy on the highways just to save us, he was really a hero. On the way to the hospital they shot at us, and he succeeded in dodging the bullets and not a single one hit the car. I have nothing to say except thank you. He was truly an angel.”
Einat told the Mako news site that the stories of her late husband’s bravery don’t change the immense loss she feels.
“Everyone keeps talking about how Lion was a hero, but I just want him to come home,” she said.