“Goodbye dear twin. I felt, knew, and prepared myself for this event. They say that twins sense each other’s feelings; and how true this is! I broke my head trying to compose what I would say to you at your funeral. I woke up to this fact; and now I really know this is (unfortunately) real”.

These sad words were part of the eulogy given at the funeral of Paratroop officer, Lt. Yiftah Schreier by his brother, Yardan, also a lieutenant in the IDF, as he kissed his brother’s coffin before it was lowered to it final resting place. Yiftah, who was killed on Wednesday in a battle near the Lebanese village of Maroun a-Ras, grew up with his brother in Haifa, Israel’s embattled northern city. “We were called the ‘twins of Haifa’, and though were grew up different physically (I am tall and heavy-set, and Yiftah was short and thin) we were very close, and shared many things together. When we both began our army careers, we took different paths, but always kept close contact with one another. Though we were not religious, Yiftah so much loved being Israeli and felt close to his country.”

Yardan and his brother had been involved in the fighting since the conflict began, and his parents only received word their son had been killed when a group of soldiers came to their home late Wednesday night. Being so close to his brother, Yardan was given the honor to compose the eulogy usually said at a funeral. Having to do this for his beloved brother made it even more difficult. “I’ll never forget your mischievous grin, and now I’m at a loss for words. We were both born on September 11; a little ironic, no?” Their closeness was clearly evident when Yardan said brokenly: “I love you, brother. I’ll remember this till the end of my days”.