Today started at Ammunition Hill, a ceremonial grounds and monument to the paratroopers who took the Old City during the Six-day war in 1967. We were privileged to witness the induction of Israeli soldiers into a paratrooper unit. Anthony, a participant from Maine, sat next to a parent who was visiting from the United States. His son was being inducted into the Israeli army. “He was so proud. He flew all the way here from the US to watch his son receive a Bible and a gun. It was so touching to see”, Anthony remarked. “I wish my parents had been part of my induction ceremony. It would have meant so much.”
We continued on to Masada and the Dead Sea. Hearing the story of Masada always bring up emotion and so many questions – it also provides many answers as is stated so eloquently below:
“The experience here in Israel bonding with my Combat-wounded US Military and Israeli Military brothers has empowered me not to be lost at ‘SEA’. SHY, EMBARRASSED, or ASHAMED of my injuries from the war, because I have a PAL…PASSION on what I will do with my life, ASPIRE to do it, so I will have a LEGACY for my community, heritage, and our country.” James Van Thach, Captain, Infanty, US Army, Retired.