I couldn't attend- grad school interfered- but I sent my mother, a recent immigrant to the country to the IAF- Israel Air Force induction ceremony in Be'ersheva. Nefesh B'Nefesh tracked down some extra tickets for this amazing experience, and armed with a Teudat Zehut and a love of Israel- my mother was allowed to attend.
It is only open to those who are relatives of the pilots, former pilots, and any of those with the special tickets granted to the event.
Speaking to my mother after the event, she remarked that it was a truly beautiful experience. All the pilots, neat, handsome, polite and respectful, were truly a sight to behold. HaTikva was sung with grace, and a music concert lightened up the air.
The pilots themselves showed off the individual planes, speaking in English and in Hebrew, and answering questions to all who wanted. There was an air show, with precision moves, gracefully sweeping through the sky, for two hours of awe and amazement. Many of the pilots were wearing kippahs, my mother said, many were religious as well. All were absolutely proud and joyful that they reached this day and earned their wings.
A proud parent of a pilot remarked to my mother that he himself was in the 1967 war, and it was only due to the pilots in the air that he on the ground lived to see this day. He stood there with his son the pilot, his other son the yeshiva student, and all with proud grins on their faces.
May G-d safeguard these soldiers- may they never have to use their excellent skills in war, and if they do, let them all come safely home.
2 hours ago