That describes it. I know that I could feel a piece of my own heart breaking when I heard the terrible news that Asaf Ramon had been killed when his Israel Air Force F-16 jet crashed during a training flight.
Ramon was the eldest son of Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut who perished with his American colleagues on the Columbia. I recall that I was in London for a conference when the news broke about the Columbia. And as much as that tragedy shook me for its reminders of the Challenger and the loss of my own countrymen, I know that a big part of the reason that I spent all of my non-conference time glued to the television in my hotel room was, quite simply, Ilan Ramon. His story. His history. His significance to his country.
I pray for the Ramon family. As Israeli President Shimon Peres said at the funeral on Monday, “every heart breaks today because the son of the Ramon family was the son of us all – today we are all the Ramon family.”