Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's life was full of controversy – and so too his funeral.
The service itself was very respecting – not a lot of emotions but heavy on the symbolism of this dynamic military man.
The controversy concerning his funeral started when Mr. Sharon was alive.
Mr. Sharon's wife Lily, is buried at the family ranch, where now he lies beside her.
It was the wish of the deceased to be buried in the family ranch. However, this was challenged legally as it is against the law to bury outside of the sanctioned locations in Israel. The High Court was petitioned about this and basically said they would not intervene – but they did say it was illegal.
A prominent settler leader tried to get the court to block Mr. Sharon's funeral on the same grounds without success.
But this is just one controversy… there were more – some filled with painful human horror and others of true grit and gift. These inspiring stories and embarrassments have been seized upon by both the lovers and haters of Mr. Sharon.
Prior to the funeral, which took place some 6 miles from Gaza, the IDF stationed an Iron Dome anti-missile battery nearby to protect the public and world leaders in the event of a projectile launched from the Hamas controlled Strip.
This action spoke to some of Mr. Sharon's legacy – that he had not brought security to Israel, to others – that he was the Prime Minister able to secure such security hardware for Israel's citizen's from the Americans.
But Sharon, like the anti-missile battery, will be remembered in Israeli history as a symbol of strength.
For the military, where he spent the majority of his life, he will be recalled as one who was determined to secure Israel – and a daring fighter over his decades of service.
This resolve is the controversy… it got him into trouble with the actions he took – and it also brought him success in his military campaigns. It edged the Peace Process forward – and removed settlers from Gaza.
Now Ironically, he will lay in the land he loved, under the range of fire, from the one thing he was not able to 'lock up' – an Israel living in peace with it's neighbors.
Middle East Correspondent