Today was a day for pomp and circumstance. In London, a prince married his girl as hundreds of folks wore crazy hats and millions more tuned in around the world. South of Tel Aviv, by a modest memorial to Israel's fallen paratroopers, I was awarded the pins that affirm I am a combat soldier in the special-forces of the Paratroop Brigade. Ceremony, celebration, and then a picnic with dear friends and family.
The ceremony itself was fairly anticlimactic. For all the excitement of sharing my accomplishment with my parents, kibbutz family, cousin and garin friends, it has been two weeks since the rising sun atop Masada proclaimed the end of my training and welcomed me into the ranks of a lohem in the army of Israel. As I waited in the sun this morning to get my pins, I did my best to close my eyes and remember my descent from Masada, when my heart swelled with emotion that a little boy who had dreamt of heroes like Hanna Senesh and Yoni Netanyahu now had taken their place as a defender of the Jewish people. It was fitting that Hanna's words were proclaimed atop the memorial at my back: A voice called and I went, I went for the voice called.
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