On Friday, the Fourth of July, a memorial was held at the Los Angeles International Airport to honor the memory of Vicki Hen, a young woman who was fatally gunned down by a terrorist on U.S. soil 12 years ago. A large group of family, friends, and acquaintances gathered to remember the tragedy that struck them and the entire nation that fateful afternoon when Vicki, 25, lost her life.
Just ten months after the al Qaeda-led catastrophic 9-11 attacks claimed close to 3,000 innocent lives in New York, America’s West Coast experienced its first and only terrorist attack to date. A heavily armed Egyptian national, a limousine driver in California, stormed LAX’s Bradley International Terminal and headed straight for Israel’s El Al Terminal, where he opened fire on 90 people waiting for an outbound flight, shooting ten people, and claiming two lives. One of the individuals killed was Vicki Hen, an Israeli-American woman who was working at the airline. The other was Yaakov Aminov, 46, a father of five who left behind a pregnant wife.
“The world is deeply flawed,” said congressional candidate Elan Carr (R-33) with a heavy heart, addressing the grief-stricken audience. “It is uniquely appropriate that today, on this day where we celebrate the blessings of this blessed country, we stop to commemorate and mourn over the vile act of terror that occurred on this spot 12 short years ago.” Bouquets of fresh flowers adorned the plaque which bares Vicki Hen’s name.
American and Israeli flags were planted in the grass surrounding the memorial’s designated space. To the left of the plaque, an image of Vicki was placed in an almost life-sized display. And to the right, a poster with the images of the three teenage boys who lost their lives just days ago was placed.
Consul General of Israel for the Southwest David Siegel addressed the audience with fervor, saying, “There are no words to describe the pain,” as he recounted the tragic events which had transpired just two weeks before in Israel when three youth (one with dual American-Israeli citizenship) were kidnapped by Hamas and executed, then placed in shallow graves. Their bodies were discovered last week.
One of the victim’s aunts, Leehy Shaar, was also present. Last week, she told an audience of nearly a thousand people who congregated at a memorial in Beverly Hills for the three murdered youth that “our fight against terrorism is not at all over.”
“We buried three of our boys on Monday, and we are here on Friday to remember one of our daughters,” the consul general said, reminding the audience that the attack which occurred on the Fourth of July, 2002, meant that “they reached us here at LAX, and it was a massive attack on the United States of America and against Israel.”
The “enemies,” Carr noted, who murdered Vicki, Yaakov, Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali “in cold blood are the enemies, not only of the State of Israel and the Jewish people; they are the enemies–year after year–of the United States of America. And they are the enemies of civilization itself,” said Carr.
Avi Hen, Vicki’s father, told Breitbart News that he felt it to be of great importance to draw attention to the gravity of the events which transpired on that Fourth of July, 12 years ago. “Every year I am standing here with all of my friends like you see here. I think it’s not enough and think more people need to be here and become more aware of this,” he said.
An American rabbi and an Iranian-born pastor both provided words of inspiration and insight, each quoting biblical text. In the Old Testament, it is written, “He who saves one life saves an entire world. Vicki represented an entire world,” Rabbi Zvi Block said. He then drew upon what he described as the unique, “mutual relationship” that exists between the United States of America and Israel, stating, “We are grateful for the greatest nation on earth that has cared for and protected [Israel] the most.”
Ramin Parsa, an Iranian-born pastor, addressed the audience last and spoke of his own childhood and the evil effects of extremism on the mind of the youth:
I remember as a child, the first thing we would do in the school every morning was to pray curses upon Israel and upon America. In textbooks, they taught us to hate Israel. And I wonder, had I not found the true God of love the Bible introduced to me, I think I would have wound up a terrorist.
As the blazing sun beamed overhead and the memorial came to an end, those congregated prepared to head to their Fourth of July celebrations.
“The Fourth of July represents freedom and democracy and decency and tolerance. That’s what America is all about,” Carr expressed with pride. “And it is decency and democracy and tolerance and freedom that [are] most under attack by our enemies.” He then said, “In the face of such unspeakable evil…enough is enough.”