In the summer of 2014, during the Protective Edge operation, Shon Mondsein, 19, was a combatant in the Golani Brigade of the Israeli army.
A few hours before returning to Gaza with his unit, he called his parents and siblings. He told them of his pride in fighting for Israel but also of his fears. The vehicle with which he was about to enter the Gaza Strip was old and he did not believe it would protect them in the event of an attack.
Secretly, he also decided to write farewell letters to them on his phone. If he comes back alive, he will never have his family read them. But if something happens to him, all those dear to him will be able to discover the message he had left them.
In his letters, Shon asks his family to not be afraid and instead to be strong. He also writes how grateful he is to have had the honor of defending his country. And of course, he repeats the following words several times: “ani ohev etchem – אני אוהב אתכם” – I love you.
“If something happens to me, don’t worry. Mom, Dad, Shahaf and Shirli, I assure you that I am happy that something happened to me, and not to my brothers in arms. I love you endlessly even though I have been a bit distant these past two months. I ask you to keep your smile, be proud and promise me one thing: keep living your life. Don’t stay bereaved for too long. Be strong and remember me as a fighter, as a young 19-year-old Israeli”.
Shon and 6 members of his unit died that same evening in an ambush in the Sajayah district of Gaza.
Several years after the tragedy, Israeli singer Hanan Ben Ari discovered these letters and decided to make a song of them. He will simply compose a melody but keep Shon’s text. It is perhaps one of the most moving titles broadcast on Yom Hazikaron because the lyrics were written by a fallen soldier before his death and they only contain words of love, affection and of hope.
We invite you to listen to this song.
We invite you to have a thought for Shon and for the 23,816 victims of attacks and soldiers who fell to defend Israel. They are our sisters and brothers, our fathers, our cousins, our neighbors. We will never forget them.