A heartwarming ceremony was held Saturday for the Israeli Defense Force’s rescue unit as members left the tragic condo collapse in Miami.
The team of seven is part of the IDF’s Home From Command and traveled to the U.S. to participate in the search and rescue mission just three days after the building collapsed in late June, according to Times of Israel.
Members of the IDF group were cheered on by local rescue teams and residents as they walked through the town of Surfside.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava presented the team members with medals, thanking them for their assistance. In return, Col. Golan Vach, the leader of the IDF team, gifted Levine Cava and Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett an Israeli flag signed by each member of the rescue team.
After the celebration, the team returned home to Israel.
Burkett praised all the rescue workers and volunteers for the “really incredible” progress they’ve made since the June 24 collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium.
As of Monday afternoon, the death toll has reached 94.
Levine Cava, for her part, said 83 of the victims have been identified but “the process of making identifications has been made more difficult as time goes on,” according to the Associated Press.
Burkett said officials have increased security around the collapsed condo in order to preserve the site.
“It’s obvious that this has become much more than a collapsed building site,” he said. “It has become a holy site.”
Miami-Dade Police Department Director Alfredo Ramirez III said it’s important the space remain “uninterrupted” because of the personal connection loved ones feel to the site.
“As families are being notified about their family members, the ask is always about property,” Ramirez said. “People want some sort of connection to their family member, so it’s very important that our process that we have in place continues to flow uninterrupted.”
“It’s just part of the process,” he added. “This is a long, painful, hurtful process.”
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***