President Shim'on Peres told 120 outstanding soldiers, Tuesday morning, "You are proof that even without abundant quantity, one can reach excellence in quality." Presenting them with awards for their efforts, he said they were part of an army "whose standard is found in a high level of volunteerism and daring. You serve as a role model for your comrades."
On a national level, Peres noted, "You are the sons and daughters of a people who, only 50 years ago, experienced a Holocaust and since then knew wars. You are children of a people that grew to the four corners of the earth and gathered in the Diaspora to make one people." He added, "Israel is more a leap than a process. It's a surprise that broke routine and preserved our heritage."