Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Picture, or two or three...

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. I don't know who "they" are, but my guess, at least today, is that they would be the proud mothers (and fathers and sisters and brothers) of a soldier who has recently finished the Artillery Division's latest Commanders Course.

As previously mentioned (It's All in the Position), after Elie and the soldiers marched out, a friend asked if I had perhaps phoned ahead and set up the positioning. There was Elie, standing so proud and handsome...lined up with the perfect back-drop of the Israeli flag flying over his shoulder.


After a few speeches and presentations to a group of soldiers, the commanding officers moved among their men - each was congratulated and presented with his new bars. Three stripes to be worn on the upper arms, indications of their new rank and accomplishments.

There was Elie's commanding officer, pinning Elie's new bars on his uniform. The ceremony was typical Israel - hugs, slaps on the arms - a celebration of pride and accomplishment. These boys have worked hard to get where they are, to learn what they need to know so that they can lead others...and trust others to follow. They were taught the Israeli way - the commander goes first into battle. From the front, he says to his men, "Follow me" - and they do.

And finally, as Elie's commanding officer moved on, we got our first glimpse of our new Commander!
At the end of the ceremony, standing proud in the distance, the 160 new commanders presented themselves to their families and sang the Israeli national anthem - Hatikvah...The Hope.


It was impossible to miss the stone walls to our left. Behind a sign that proclaimed, "These are the names of our heroes" - stand several walls covered with the names of Artillery men (and likely women) who have fallen protecting our country. I noticed, from the distance, that the list of names, divided by years, pre-dates our country's re-establishment.

I couldn't bring myself to walk amidst the walls and read the names of the fallen. It's something I owe them, and something I'll do someday...but not this day - when my heart and soul are filled with pride.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mazal Tov, you should be very proud. I love your blog and enjoy reading it, you wrtie so beautifully. I could not open the pictures and would love to see them.
Sharon

Anonymous said...

As Sharon has already said, your blog is terrific. I too could not open the pictures. Could you please re-post them in another way-perhaps a JPEG

Thank you

Adrienne

muse said...

Beautiful post. I remember when my sons were in the army. It's wasn't that long ago. For two years, of the total of four, both were in. B"H, they got out alive.

marcelo said...

Beautiful post,greetings from Mar del Plata city-

Savion said...

So glad I found your wonderful blog...wow, you surely can write! Love how you talk about your soldier sons...what could make a mother prouder than having her sons defend our beloved homeland!

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