Hoyer Statement on Return of Israeli Soldiers’ Bodies to Israel

For Immediate Release:

July 16, 2008

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement after the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Ehud ‘Udi’ Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, were returned to Israel today.  Hoyer has met with the families of both soldiers:

 
“Today is a day of mixed emotions, when we begin the official mourning of two young and courageous soldiers who gave their lives in defense of their nation, our democratic ally, Israel.  They were Ehud ‘Udi’ Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, and they were taken by Hezbollah terrorists on July 12, 2006.  Eldad's father once described these two long years of waiting as a period of ‘darkness.’  While this is a day that no parent should ever have to experience, I hope that in some small way, some of their suffering is relieved, now that they finally have the opportunity to lay their sons to rest.  I want to extend my deepest and most sincere sympathies to the families of Udi and Eldad.  My thoughts and prayers are with Udi's beautiful, young wife Karnit, his parents Miki and Shlomo, Eldad's father Zvi and the other family and friends of Udi and Eldad who will forever cherish their memories.
 
“When I last met with Udi and Eldad's families, their one request was to continue talking about their sons, and to raise as much awareness as possible about their captivity, so that maybe one day, they would return home and be able to embrace them.  It is too late for Udi and Eldad.  But it is not too late for Gilad Shalit, who remains in the hands of Hamas.  Let this day of mourning re-energize our efforts to secure Gilad's release, so that he may feel the joyful embrace of his family and his country again.”
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