“We in Hezbollah’s leadership, we sacrifice our sons. We feel proud when our sons go to frontlines. We hold our heads high when they fall as martyrs,” Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said on September 13, 1997, a day after the martyrdom of his son, Hadi, known as ‘Migratory September Bird’.
On September 12, 1997, Hezbollah fighters ambushed an Israeli force in Jabal Al-Rafi’a area in south Lebanon, killing four Israeli occupation soldiers. However, the fighters engaged in a deadly clash with occupation troops while returning from the mission, and three of them were martyred.
One of the three fighters, who initially went missing, was Hadi, the eldest son of Sayyed Nasrallah.
“At that night, I was informed that three of our fighters went missing. The brother who was talking to me on the phone didn’t tell me that Hadi was one of the three, though I felt this due to his repetitive calls to update me on the issue,” Sayyed Nasrallah said in a 2018 interview with Al-Manar, narrating how he knew about the martyrdom of his son.
Martyrdom of the three fighters was confirmed in the next day by the resistance’ operations room which was overseeing their mission. Sayyed Nasrallah was informed that his son was among the martyrs.
Sayyed Nasrallah, the Firm Leader
Despite the saddening news, Sayyed Nasrallah took part in a preplanned ceremony on that day (September 13, 1997), and delivered a speech in which he proudly announced the martyrdom of his son.
“I thank Allah, who bestowed mercy upon us by looking at my family and choosing a martyr from it,” Sayyed Nasrallah said at the ceremony.
“As all resistance Mujahideen (fighters), Hadi chose this way and he was fully aware of it…. The Israeli enemy may think that it has secured an achievement by killing Hezbollah secretary general’s son. The Israeli enemy didn’t assassinate Hadi in Haret Hreik. Hadi was in the frontline in south Lebanon. He was carrying a Jihadi mission against the Israeli occupation.”
Bodies of Hadi and the other two martyrs, Ali Kawtharani and Haytham Mughniyeh, were captured by the Israeli occupation. A video released by Israeli media showed the bodies which were retrieved, later in June 1998, as part of a swap deal between the resistance and the Israeli occupation that saw exchange of 60 Lebanese prisoners and bodies of 40 Hezbollah martyrs for the bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in south Lebanon in 1997.
Martyrdom of Hadi Nasrallah turned out as waves of emotional gushing and respect to the Hezbollah Secretary General. Few years after the end of the civil war in Lebanon, no one ever saw that a son of one of the leaders of the political groups, which took part in the civil war, has been killed in the war.
Sayyed Nasrallah, the Loving Father
Along with this pride and firmness, Sayyed Nasrallah has openly shown the emotional phase behind the martyrdom of his son.
“Yes, for sure I cried. At the end, I’m a father, I’m a human,” Sayyed Nasrallah answered a question by Lebanese talk show host Zaven Kouyoumdjian during an interview few months after Hadi’s martyrdom.
In a touching poem, Sayyed Nasrallah mourned Hadi as the ‘Migratory September Bird’ during that year.
“I’m your orphan O’ my son…
Here you go, and my tear has choked me during my night loneness …
I will miss you… Whenever a bird migrates in September,” excerpts of the poem by Sayyed Nasrallah read.
Source: Al-Manar English Website