“We're honored to have stood here and have helped during such difficult times. It's a great honor for us and we hope the country recovers quickly and continues this way, so it can return to be as solid as it has always been,” said Dudi Mizrahi, leader of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Aid Delegation on behalf of the rest of his squad, during their farewell ceremony.
The IDF delegation arrived on September 21 in Mexico City with 50 soldiers – 25 engineers – to provide assistance in the disaster areas.
“We promise you we did everything in our hands to save as many lives as possible. We did all we could,” he reiterated.
The farewell ceremony took place at the hangar of the Federal Police and there was a minute of silence for those who lost their lives during the September 19 earthquake.
“We brought our best experts, the people who know how to take risks who are also the best of Israel,” declared Dudi Mizrahi, proud of the work accomplished.
The general director of the National Disaster Prevention Center Carlos Miguel Valdés presented to the leader of the Delegation a commemorative medal for the assistance his team provided, with the phrase “Fuerza México” (Strength to Mexico).
Mr. Valdés expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Mexican people, saying “if the world didn't entirely collapse on Mexico, was because you carried it on your backs, 122 million of Mexicans will remember you for rescuing our siblings, parents, children, and friends. Thank you, to all of you.”
The very same September 19, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contacted the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray to offer assistance after the catastrophe which devastated several states of the country.
“With your experience, commitment, talent, effort, and generosity, many Mexican families felt comforted with your presence, with your support,” added the director of the National Disaster Prevention Center.
For his part, the Israel ambassador in Mexico, Jonathan Peled, said "Tikkun Olam"(Repairing the World in Hebrew) is one of their profound ideals and part of their Jewish tradition, pursuant to which the IDF Aid Delegation came to assist the Mexican people.
To the Israeli commanders and soldiers, the ambassador said: “thank you for making us so proud and for representing us so well in Mexico.”