The nation of Israel wept together on Thursday as the bodies of army reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were buried in their hometowns of Nahariya and Haifa a day after being returned in a prisoner exchange with Lebanon's Hizballah.
Thousands of people - including the nation's top political, military and religious leaders - attended both funerals.
For the families the sorrow-filled day brought to an end two years of uncertainty and despair, as Hizballah had refused to release any information regarding the fates of Regev and Goldwasser after nabbing them in a cross-border raid that sparked the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Forensics experts who examined the bodies said the evidence suggested both soldiers were killed in the attack on their patrol jeep, or shortly thereafter as a result of injuries sustained in the assault. That, too, brought some comfort to the families, which had feared their loved ones were enduring unimaginable horrors at the hands of their captors.