Bereaved parents welcome baby before Memorial Day

Fallen soldier's mother gives birth hours before start of Memorial Day. She describes the combination of joy and loss.

Uzi Baruch ,

Sarit Vanunu
Sarit Vanunu
Kaplan Hospital

Only hours before the start of Memorial Day, the mother of fallen soldier Ben Vanunu gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

Weighing 2.73 kilograms, she was born at 7:33 a.m. in Kaplan Hospital.

"This is a very moving day for us, both the family and our friends who have helped out," said Sarit Vanunu, the exultant mother. "I gave birth to my four children here, and now also the fifth baby. It's a happy occasion, though it's also tied to the loss of my son Ben."

Sergeant Ben Vanunu, a 19-year-old member of the Golani Brigade from Ashdod, was killed during fighting in Shuja'iyya during 2014's Operation Protective Edge. He and his comrades were traveling in an old "Zelda" APC that lacked protection.

At some point the Zelda became trapped and required another APC to extricate it. While they were performing this maneuver, a  terrorist fired an anti-tank rocket at the older vehicle, killing all six soldiers inside.