Euronews reports that the members of the boys’ soccer team rescued from almost three weeks trapped in a cave in northern Thailand on Saturday completed their time as novice Buddhist monks.
About 300 people gathered for the ceremony on a rainy morning that saw the boys leave temple life to return to their families. Those present gave alms — flowers, food, money — as a gesture of their religious devotion.The July 25 ordination of 11 boys of the Wild Boars soccer team along with the 25-year-old coach was especially dedicated to a former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, who died while diving during a volunteer mission to supply the cave with oxygen tanks essential to a successful rescue. A twelfth boy did not go through the religious ritual because he isn’t Buddhist.
At the temple near Thailand’s mountainous border with Myanmar, the boys and their coach sat barefooted in a large pavilion in their orange robes. The adults sitting behind them wore white.With heads bowed, they prayed, fidgeted and occasionally yawned as monks chanted sacred texts. They then placed new monks’ robes on a table in front of a large photo of Saman.