Hundreds of mourners joined family and fellow officers at the funeral of a 29-year-old cop killed in Sunday’s deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem.
First Sergeant Yosef Kirma was laid to rest at around 6 p.m. Sunday at the capital’s Mount Herzl cemetery.
Kirma’s father Uzi eulogized his son. “Yossi, you were my friend. Now you are no longer with us any more. How is it possible to continue? What will I do now?” he said. “How can I move on from here? I love you so much.”
Kirma married in April. His wife Noy lamented their short time together. “We had so many plans together, a home, children, and you always supported my career. You loved me always, unconditionally, even more than I loved myself,” she said. “My Yossi, look how many people came just for you. You are my light and my heart.”
Chief Superintendent Meir Namir, Kirma’s commander in the elite tactical response unit Yasam in the Jerusalem Police, said Sunday’s attack “will be seared in the hearts of the policemen of the unit. Yossi was made of the stuff of the heroes of Israel. Now we salute you for the final time.”
Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich also spoke at the funeral. “We will catch anyone who tries to get their hands on our citizens,” he said. “On behalf of the Israel Police and a grateful nation, I salute you.”
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan spoke of the need to keep on fighting. “You understood the lot of this generation. It was decreed for us to grasp the sword and not to breath or sleep [while defending] the borders of Israel.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that terror will not win. “We are standing here today in great sorrow, but we stand tall against our enemies,” he said. “Through the terrible pain we say that terror will not defeat us. Jerusalem is our capital and we will continue to develop it and build it.”
Kirma was killed in the shootout while trying to charge the gunman, police said. “He fearlessly pursued the terrorist in order to neutralize him and prevent further harm to innocent bystanders,” the police statement said.
He was a resident of the Jerusalem suburb Mevasseret Zion and is survived by his wife of five months, parents and two brothers. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of first sergeant.
Kirma was decorated after helping to stop a terror attack in December 2015.