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The Story of the 19-Years-Old Hero - Hadar Cohen

The word hero means different things to different people, some are imagining a superhero conquering the sky with endless charm. They have a mental image of Superman, Spiderman, or Superwoman saving the world. Others may think about those who help others as heroes, but very few people will think about a 19-year-old woman.

A hero is someone who acts with determination and courage despite the difficulty and danger. With this definition, there’s no wonder we can all be admired. When we face danger, we have three choices: we can Fight, Flight or Freeze. Those three options help us to survive and act in different situations that may threaten us.

On February 3, 2016, Hadar Cohen faced a very difficult situation. Hadar was a 19-year-old woman who followed her passion, she wanted to help others in a meaningful way and she was determined to do so. She decided to enlist in the fighting unit of the IDF border police. Hadar worked out day and night, she knew it wouldn’t be easy but she wasn't scared of hard work. Not a lot of women choose this direction, but Hadar wasn't an ordinary woman.

It was two months into her training when Hadar and her unit were sent to guard Jerusalem's Damascus Gate. When they woke up that day they didn't know their lives would change forever.

Hadar and her unit were attacked that day by three terrorists who planned to kill as many people as they could that day. The first terrorist attacked the force commander who managed to neutralize him. The second terrorist physically attacked a soldier using a knife. He stabbed her in order to kill her.

Hadar saw that and immediately came to her rescue, at that moment she didn't freeze, Hadar fought to save her unit even though she just finished her training and never done anything like that before. Hadar successfully managed to neutralize the terrorist and save her friend.

At this point, Hadar and her unit thought it was over, but none of them knew about the third terrorist, the one who was hiding in the shrubs, the one who shot Hadar twice in the back of her head. Hadar was brought to the hospital in a critical condition and died a few hours later.

Hadar's family, friends, the state of Israel, and the people she saved will forever be heartbroken by her loss. Thanks to Hadar's brave actions she saved more than her unit, she saved hundreds of people who were traveling, living, and working in the area from the terrorists.

There is something called - mental present, that's when you have a mental image of someone you care about and when you are far from them (either because you are not near physically or because they passed away), you can always imagine them. Think about what they could've told you at this moment when you are craving to hear their voice. Researchers have shown that just by imagining our loved ones we feel stronger and more relaxed.

Even though Hadar is no longer with us, her memory will always be alive and present in the minds of her loved ones and the state of Israel. Hadar had a very important vision that is now passed to the public with her family, close friends, her unit, and others she inspired.

Hadar's Legacy – 3 Tips To Make an Impact:

  • Learn to Give: It was important for Hadar to have a meaningful role. She wanted to help others and keep them safe. According to Tony Robbins giving is the secret of living " No matter how busy or broke you may be, you have something to offer others. So many people miss the opportunity to know that their life makes a difference – but it does."

  • You Must Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: in life we will meet a variety of people, we will have different connections with them- some we will like more, some less and some of them we won't like at all. The important thing to remember is to be respectful and treat people as we wish we were treated. Hadar made sure to spread her special charm and positive energies to the world.

  • Positivity and Faith: we can gain control over our attitude and approach to our life events. When we struggle we can test ourselves and look into our responses, we can learn how to help ourselves using our mind. When we have a positive approach our energy changes and we feel stronger and have more faith in ourselves. Hadar had a difficult time during her training but she didn’t let it bring her down, she chose to remain positive and have faith in herself. By doing so, Hadar brought light to her friends and help them overcome their struggles as well.

May her memory be a blessing


Interview with Mor Cohen - Hadar's sister


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