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May 9, 2018 1:07 pm

‘Live Life for Today,’ Says Gal Gadot After Sharing Story of Israeli Pilot Who Lost His Daughter in Thailand Tsunami

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Ofer Aloni’s daughter Zohar. Photo: Screenshot / YouTube.

Israeli actress Gal Gadot shared with her social media followers on Tuesday her encounter with a pilot whose daughter died in a devastating tsunami and the lessons people can learn from how he dealt with his loss.

The “Wonder Woman” star wrote on all her social media channels that during a recent flight home, the airplane’s pilot, an Israeli named Ofer Aloni, introduced himself to the actress and said he was wanted to reach out to her and tell his story. The pilot told Gadot about losing his daughter Zohar in the deadly tsunami that took place in Thailand in 2004.

A 9.15 magnitude earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004 resulted in a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that was considered one of the biggest natural disasters in history, according to Reuters. The countries hit the hardest included Thailand, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. Around 5,395 people were killed in Thailand and among them about 2,000 foreign tourists.

Aloni told Gadot that after hearing news of Zohar’s disappearance he traveled to Thailand to find his 24-year-old daughter, only to discover that she was killed by rushing water. He returned her body to Israel for burial.

“He told me at that moment he was ready to give up, his heart was broken, he wanted to be with his daughter,” Gadot said about Aloni. “He looked up to the skies and at that moment of defeat a sudden realization hit him. He closed his eyes and saw a vision of his remaining family — his wife and three sons, [and] from this moment on he chose life. He said, ‘We can write our own life story, we cannot change the past, but we do have the choice of how we live moving forward.'”

Gadot said he found Aloni’s spirit “incredibly brave and inspiring.” His words resonated with the actress, and she said people should remember, “Life is so unexpected,” and, “We don’t have total control of what might happen tomorrow. But we do have the power to choose to live life for today.”

Gadot also posted on social media a video that features a picture of Aloni’s daughter and the song by the band The Kin called “A Power to Choose,” which was inspired by Aloni’s story and words.

Aloni, in his own Facebook post last year about the loss of his daughter, talked about the difficulty to “choose happiness and joy” following Zohar’s death. He said, “The initial desire to sink, spiral down and just surrender to the pain was overwhelming. I felt as of there’s no chance in beating it and so perhaps it was best to let go and give in…The longing for Zohar will forever accompany us, but it will not lead us. We’ll remember Zohar with love, happiness, laughter and music. In every situation, no matter how hard,  we each have the right and ability, perhaps even the responsibility to choose.”

Below is the video Gadot posted on social media, featuring a picture of Zohar:

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