“Brides in Black” was the leading headline of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot on Monday. Edna Sarussi (22) and Gali Nir (24) both lost their fiancés this weekend. Both were to be married in the coming weeks.
Edna was engaged to Lt. Hadar Goldin (23), whose bodily remains were found in a tunnel in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, and Gali was to marry Goldin’s commander, Benaya Sarel (26), a major of the elite Givati Infantry Brigade (pictured).
Both young men died 90 minutes after a ceasefire was brokered with Hamas last Friday. The unit of in which Benaya and Hadar served was attacked from behind using a terror tunnel. A third soldier, Liel Gidoni, was also killed.
The Yediot story spanned the first two pages of the newspaper, showing heart-wrenching photos of the two young women saying goodbye to their beloved, who fell as heroes in defense of the Jewish people.
“Thank you for the never-ending love you gave me,” wrote Gali of her deceased fiance. “We talked last evening on the phone and you took away my fears. You promised to take care of yourself and your soldiers. I want to thank you for the last three years. These were my best years. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for coming into my life and teaching me so many things. Thank you for your laughter and your eyes that will always follow me.”
Edna’s farewell letter to Hadar was also published by the newspaper. “I love you so much and I miss you,” she wrote. “Hadar my beloved, the love of my life, hero of Israel. I don’t know how to say goodbye to you. I cannot imagine you dead. You were always the most lively person. How much did I want to become your bride and wife! I promise that every person passing me by will recognize a part of you. You are eternal … please continue by my side.”
The death of these two Israeli soldiers from the same unit denied these two young women the love and joy they so eagerly anticipated. In all, 64 Israeli officers and soldiers died in Gaza over the last 28 days while defending Israel. Behind every name lies a painful story.