In a few days, according to the English calendar, Gilad Shalit will turn 23. It's a bittersweet moment for his parents...Gilad is still held captive in Gaza. Hamas still refuses to allow the Red Cross to visit Gilad; still refuses to confirm Gilad's condition.
We know he was alive when he was taken. We know he was alive when he was taped in a brief message to his parents. We have heard his voice, but not seen him in three years. A few months ago, we tried to get Gilad to the top of Twitter trends in "honor" of the 3rd anniversary of his captivity.
Today, the Twitter world is doing it again - #GiladShalit - in honor of Gilad's birthday. Senator Ted Kennedy died today, something about a Snow Leopard is there too. I don't know what NT stands for, why people are tweeting about Channel 4 or Hey 40, but there is Gilad - already in second place.
Happy birthday, Gilad - may the next one find you home, healthy and safe with your family. May you know, wherever you are today, that we love you and think of you often. Our hearts break for you today, for your parents, Noam and Aviva, and for your sister, Hadas. You probably don't know this, but today, she enters the Israeli army to begin her service...the same service you have yet to end.
Happy birthday, Gilad - you are forever in our hearts.