Gadi Ezra fell in battle during "Operation Defensive Shield". He was killed on April 4, 2002 while attempting to evacuate a wounded soldier in the midst of battle in Jenin. He received a posthumous medal for extreme bravery under fire. He was 23 years old when he was killed.
Gadi was the youngest child of Soli and Roseline Ezra, he was a commander in the Golani Brigade. He was soon to be released from the army and planned to marry his girlfriend, Galit. About a month before he was killed, he wrote Galit a letter to read in case something would happen to him. The following is the letter.
Feb. 28, 2002
My Dear Galiti,
If this letter reaches you, it means that something has happened to me.
This morning, we were informed that the mission planned yesterday, will with the Almighty's help, take place today.
I told you that the mission had been changed and was not to be carried out as planned - I didn't want to worry you, my dearest. It was very hard for me not to tell you the truth, but I preferred it this way than for you to be crazy with worry - "meshanim mipney hashalom".
My beloved, on one hand I feel that there is nothing more that I want in this world than to be with you - to love you and to establish a home and a family with you.
But on the other hand, there isn't anything that I want more than to be a part of this military operation and strike those terrorists a blow so strong, that they will never again even consider carrying out a terrorist attack.
In order to do this, there is a price that we must pay. I am willing to be that price.
Don't be angry with me, my love, but at moments like this, your feelings for "Klal Yisrael" (All Israel) is the feeling that is supposed to guide you right now - and you relate to this evil as if your private life does not exist.
"Soldiers of King David's army would free their wives from marriage before going into battle." (See "L'emunat Itenu", Part 4). My beautiful one, I love you so much and the only grief of mine is the fact that you will have sorrow and I will not be the one who will be privileged to make you happy.
You deserve all the happiness in the world. Therefore I ask, magnificent one, that you should be happy! That you should be happy, that you should love and blossom - because that is what you deserve.
I will always watch over you from wherever I am and I will see to it that you will meet someone who will make you even happier than I could have made you.
My sweet one, don't forget - all that happens is for the best and if this is what the Almighty chose, then this is what has to be. What is left for us, is to accept it with love.
I love you and will always love you and want you to know that the thoughts in my head are only for you in these moments and also I am sure, in the moment that will happen what has happened, you will be the last thing that I will think about, and I will leave this world with the knowledge that I was the most happy person that can be, and that is because of you.
Know that you made me the happiest of men and you brought me to achievements that all my life I only dreamt of reaching.
I love you my dearest and thank you for all the good and all the joy you brought me while we were together.
Really, it is not that we were together, but we are always together - before we came to this world and when we part from it, we are together.
Remember this, my dearest, because always, always we are together because the root of our souls is one.
"Kol man de'avid rachamana latov avid" - "Everything that G-d does is for the best" - this too. I promise you that where I am now is the most wonderful place that exists. I am not suffering and I have no regrets. My only sorrow is for the grief of those left behind - you, my family and my friends. Spread the message, dearest one - "There's no despair - always be joyful."
This is what I ask of you, even if it is difficult.
I know that I can request this from you, because I know the natural happiness and joy that shines from within you always, and that is what I fell in love with, and that is what drew me to you the very first time I saw you.
My dearest one, my beloved one, I love you and will always love you.
Only promise me that you will continue onward and will not allow Sodom to be the victor - you are the victor and that is how it should be and that is right to be.
I love you forever, for all eternity, and I am always with you.