Better Late Than Never

Tuesday, October 08, 2013 |  Yossi Aloni

Abraham Goldenberg was recently awarded the “Presidential Award of Excellency,” a citation given to the most outstanding Israeli army soldiers and officers. What is unique in Goldberg’s case is that he received the award 54 years late.

Goldenberg retired from the IDF in 1959, but missed the traditional ceremony were citations are given to outgoing soldiers because he had been assigned to a security detail protecting Prime Minister David Ben Gurion elsewhere in the country.

For decades Goldenberg felt he had never officially brought his military service to an end, and last year decided to petition the army and the president’s office.

“Better late than never,” said President Shimon Peres as he awarded Goldenberg the coveted medal. “You received the award late, but this delay has now made you a piece of living history. It is a great honor to take the place of [former President] Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, a man I admired greatly, in honoring your service. …You and your [generation] established this nation… The State of Israel and I congratulate you whole-heartedly.”

Goldenberg, a Holocaust survivor, was born in Romania in 1938 and immigrated to Israel in 1950. His older brother, who had immigrated to Israel two years earlier, was killed in the War of Independence.

The full story appears in the October 2013 issue of Israel Today
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