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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Golani Soldiers Swear In at the Kotel

On Wednesday, the inaugural ceremony of the Golani Brigade took place at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem. While IDF swearing in ceremonies often take place at the Kotel, the Golani ceremony was especially meaningful as this was the first time that it had taken place in the Kotel. For the past 22 years, these ceremonies have been held at the division’s training base.

The IDF’s website reported that the Golani Brigade’s trademark brown berets could be seen filling the Western Wall Plaza as the soldiers stood in excitement, waiting to swear their loyalty to the IDF and to the State of Israel.

The special atmosphere could especially be felt when brigade commander Colonel Ofek Buchris spoke to the soldiers:

“Today we swear allegiance to defend our homeland and we operate out of this commitment,” he said. “After more than 20 years, there is no place more appropriate to swear allegiance than the Kotel, a place that combines the old with the new and expresses the depth of our connection to our homeland.”

The excitement was even felt among the veteran commanders who have experienced many swearing in ceremonies, none of which has been as exciting as the one in the Kotel.

“As a company commander I have experienced quite a few swearing-in ceremonies, yet I was still very excited during this one,” said a commander in Golani’s 12th Battalion. “Standing in front of the Kotel with the soldiers and the flags around gave me chills.”