(JNS.org) In response to a widespread social media campaign to honor a fallen soldier, some 20,000 people crowded the military cemetery in Haifa on Monday evening for the funeral of Staff Sgt. Nissim Sean Carmeli, one of two U.S. citizens killed in fighting in Gaza on Sunday morning.
Since Carmeli lived in Texas for most of his life, and his parents split their time between Israel and the U.S., his friends were concerned his funeral would be sparsely attended and decided to reach out to Israelis around the country. The 21-year-old Golani Brigade soldier rooted for the Maccabi Haifa soccer team, whose fans shared the details of his funeral online, encouraging people to attend.
“The thousands who came to pay their respects show the rare unity of the nation of Israel,” said Meir Azoulay, a Haifa-area resident who attended the funeral, Israel Hayom reported.