Throughout the past five years and four months, it has been evident that Aviva and Noam Shalit are intensely private individuals, forced into the public eye to campaign for their son's freedom.
In the end, it was all about a human story: a father's hug, a mother's tears.
The captured solider returns to Israel and his family.
Gilad Shalit's father Noam has describing meeting his son for the first time in more than five years.
He said: "Today, it feels like my son has been reborn."
Mr Shalit told the assembled press in his home town of Mitzpe Hila what it was like to bring his son home. "He came down the stairs, into the house, and through the door he left so long ago.
The chief of staff for the Israel Defence Forces has vowed that the army will "continue to do everything in our power to bring back all those missing or held captive".
Lt Gen Benny Gantz's comments, made in a personal message to IDF servicemen and women, came at the end of a day of celebration for many Israelis because of the return of Gilad Shalit.
The moment when Gilad Shalit was reunited with his father Noam.
When Gilad Shalit was captured, most of us didn't have Facebook. There was no Twitter, no iPhone and certainly no iPad.
Gilad Shalit has been reunited with his family after more than five years.
Photos: Israel Defense Forces
Gilad Shalit has been reunited with his family in Israel.
The Israeli soldier, who returned to Israel today after more than five years as a prisoner of Hamas, met his parents Noam and Aviva at the Tel Nof Army base.
Gilad Shalit meets Israeli army officers as he arrives back in Israel.