After learning the fate of the diver who died assisting their rescue from a Thai cave, the 12 boys have chosen to honour him in a truly touching way.
The Wild Boar soccer players, aged 11 to 16, were trapped in Tham Luang cave complex along with their coach for nine days before divers reached them and spent several more days trapped before each and every one was rescued on July 10.
However, in the process of the risky rescue mission Thai Navy SEAL diver Saman Kunan died. The 38-year-old was placing oxygen tanks along the escape route when he ran out of oxygen and lost consciousness, and couldn’t be revived.
Photos released this week of the boys in the hospital showed they were saddened and moved by Kunan's sacrifice. Now, a guardian of one of the boys has said they have decided to pay tribute to the diver in just about the most meaningful way they can.
Banphot Konkum, who cares for 13-year-old Duangpetch "Dom" Promthep, told Associated Press all 12 soccer players will become monks in a touching gesture.
In Buddhist culture, those who ordain as monks gain merit, and that merit can be donated to others. The boys are too young to become monks, but will be ordained as novices - a role that is not as strict - and will live as novice monks for a short time. Donating the merit gained to Kunan is seen as a meaningful gift and fitting way to honour his memory.
"We are planning the date and will do it whenever all the families are all ready," Banphot said.
All of the Wild Boars left hospital on Wednesday evening.