IDF officer Hadar Goldin was killed and kidnapped during "Operation Tzuk Eitan" - "Operation Protective Edge" in 2014. His body is still being held by Hamas. He wrote the following letter, as a student, to his parents during his visit to the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland. This year his parents have joined the march of the living and will read his letter out in Auschwitz. Hadar already understood, during his visit to Auschwitz, how important the defense of his country was!
Mom and Dad,
I am sitting in the corner of one of the transport carriages in Poland. I wonder how many children like me, or maybe people different from me, passed this way before. The one thing they had in common was they were all Jews. Uprooted from their homes, their families, their parents or children without knowing where they were headed or what their destiny was. I want to tell you that, because of you, I know what my destiny is.
I will be returning to Israel. My country and our country. And I understand that, thanks to you, I know what my country affords me, but in principle - I know what I need to give of myself to my country. And in introspection I know that I have the ability to give the maximum. Whether it is representing my and our country abroad, in Chesterton, in Cambridge, at school or in the community. To be honest, fair and smart and where there are no people to be a man! To be human, as you always say. Amongst friends, at school to succeed and do the best I can. To represent and defend my country in the IDF with different kinds of weapons. Always with the tools you have equipped me with. Mom and Dad I want to say thank you.
Dad, thank you that you built me up, helped me build myself up, for the unending care, the unlimited guidance and education. Mom! Thank you that each time I lose something - myself, you help me find it, you help me rise up and not fall. Your incessant worrying, the never ending support, your continual prayers and for what I have learnt from you.
Everything I observe here in Poland leads my thoughts back to you, to my gransparents, Tzur, Ayelet and Chemi. The realization that Tzur, I and everybody will attain the victory of the Jewish people, an incredible task that I am prepared to take on myself. You have impressed upon me this responsibility, from the second I was born.
I am now leaving the carraige like so many Jews before me. They marched and took their final steps and in their death honored God or by surviving honored life. I march from here to rise from the ashes like I was taught. I want to tell you that that I love you from the bottom of my heart. Maybe I don't say it enough, but my heart always says it, and I hope that my deeds manage to show just how much I love you when I don't say it.