The moment was moving, extracting tears from the family members present. Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, little children, everybody that attended.
Each family arrived with their own baggage containing delicacies, the fullness of the country. Israeli families love expressing themselves through food. Everything digests that much easier when it is consumed as a result of a celebration.
Each family's children matured in such a short time becoming men and women! It is a fact that our children accept such a huge responsibility, such a burden at such a young age. Each one of them contributing their share to the service of their country.
Delaying by a few years their studies, careers, money - everything that is planned by children in other parts of the world. Israeli young women place their future on hold for 2 years at best, young men for 3 and officers for an additional 2 years at least. In many cases these youngsters will spend many years as career officers until they are finally released.
We the parents, having raised these children with love, dreamed that in their days there will not be another war. It is now they themselves that realize that their turn has arrived to contribute to preserving and protecting their motherland.
And on occasions like this there are so many mixed voices within us.
Voices of parents proud of their children.
Voices of caring parents.
Voices of parents longing for peace and a better world for everyone.
Voices of parents understanding that reality is different from the dream and that our security is in the military's and God's hands.
Voices praying to our heavenly Father for the protection of these youngsters. Amen!