Sgt. Roni Eshel
Sgt. Roni Eshel, a brave and dedicated soldier, tragically lost her life on October 7th, 2023, while serving on an army base near Kibbutz Nachal Oz. At just 19 years old, Roni was a valued member of the Border Defense Corps's 414th unit, assigned to monitor Israel's border with Gaza. Her untimely death sent shockwaves through her community and left her family and friends devastated.
On the morning of October 7th, Roni made sure to reassure her worried parents by sending them a text message, letting them know that she was safe and stationed in the command room of the base. Little did they know that it would be the last communication they would have with their beloved daughter. In the following weeks, Roni was considered missing, and her family held onto a glimmer of hope that she would return unharmed. However, on November 9th, the IDF confirmed the heartbreaking news that Roni had been killed during the initial attack.
Roni was the eldest of her two younger brothers, and her uncle fondly referred to her as "super responsible." She took great pride in her role within the army and felt a deep sense of purpose in the important work she was doing. Prior to her tragic passing, Roni had noticed suspicious activity near the border and diligently alerted her comrades to its presence. Concerned for her fellow soldiers' safety, she confided in her father, saying, "Dad, they're studying us. They're doing their homework. They know almost every corner of the fence itself." Roni's vigilance and dedication to her duty were truly commendable.
Outside of her military responsibilities, Roni was just like any other teenager, enjoying the simple pleasures of life. She had a passion for music and was particularly enamored with American culture, counting Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 among her favorite artists. These simple interests served as a reminder that Roni, despite her brave and selfless service, was still a young woman with hopes, dreams, and a zest for life.
The loss of Roni was not only deeply felt by her immediate family but also by her extended relatives and friends. At her funeral, her father delivered a heartfelt tribute, describing Roni as warm, witty, and kind-hearted. He expressed his profound regret, saying, "Roni, I'm sorry. I failed. I failed in bringing you home." These words encapsulated the anguish and guilt that any parent would feel in such a tragic situation.
Roni leaves behind a grieving mother, father, and two younger brothers, who now face the painful task of continuing their lives without her. However, they can find solace in the knowledge that Roni's memory will forever be cherished, and her bravery will serve as a testament to her unwavering commitment to protecting her homeland.
יהי זכרה ברוך 🕯️
About The Author
Liana Weinberger is a Tel Aviv University student and IDF reservist. She started the Fallen Soldier Tribute to commemorate each fallen member of our nation and give meaning to the growing list of those taken from us.