Sam Day was not only the moving force of the US Campaign to Free Vanunu, but also a major engine of activity in the worldwide campaign, including Israel itself.
I first met Sam in Madison, in November 1993, when I arrived from London to start a two-week-long trek with Sam around the United States. We spoke at various campuses and churches, and reached a large number of people. Sam called this our Dog and Pony Show. It worked quite well, and on the whole we got a positive response.
It was during that trip that I came to know Sam and his incredible stamina and single-mindedness. Though a few years older than me, he seemed a young man, always ready to move on, to persuade, to think of new ways of reaching more people and making a bigger impact on public opinion. In 1996 we held an international conference here in Israel, chaired by Nobel laureate Joseph Rotblat, with the participation of such figures as Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Barnaby and Thomas Cochran. It could never have been done without Sam's tireless efforts to pull it together. Sam visited Israel on several occasions, sometimes with a group and sometimes on his own. Often we, the Israeli activists, were shamed by his relentless drive, which we - who have to confront the realities in this country - could not always match. I think he was often frustrated by our apparent incapacity, when compared to his ingenious and relentless activities.
This campaign was only the last chapter in Sam Day's lifelong dedication to the cause of world peace. I know that Mordechai Vanunu himself followed all these developments, and though at times he was embittered and suspicious, he certainly knows that our campaign has lost a major driving force. It will now be up to us - in Israel, in Britain and in the US - to try and make up for his loss.
This will not, however, make up the loss to Sam's family, to Kathleen and their sons and grandchildren. Having met Kathleen when I stayed at the Days' house in 1993, I want to add my personal condolences to her and the family, from the bottom of my heart.
Yael Lotan, Tel Aviv