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Memorial commemorates 10th anniversary of shooting attack at LAX

Rina Palta / KPCC

A memorial to Victoria Hen, who died in the July 4, 2002 shooting at the El Al ticket counter at LAX sits in a grassy patch outside the international terminal.

Rina Palta / KPCC

Victoria Hen's brother (right) says he visits the memorial every year at the same time, the exact minute she was shot on July 4, 2002, with his family.

Rina Palta / KPCC

A woman clutches an Israeli flag at a memorial commemorating victims of the July 4, 2002 shooting at the El Al ticket counter at LAX.

Rina Palta / KPCC

Victoria Hen's father, Avi (left) with Danny Gadot of the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles.

Rina Palta / KPCC

An airline worker pays his respects at the memorial for Victoria Hen, killed in the July 4, 2002 shooting at LAX.


The memorial to Victoria Hen rests in a plot of grass outside LAX’s Bradley International terminal.  It’s a noisy, but surprisingly serene spot amidst the general airport chaos.

Family and friends of Hen gathered there Wednesday to commemorate her death, 10 years after Hen was killed while working at the counter of El Al, Israel’s national airlines on July 4, 2002. Another man, Yakov Aminov, who was in the terminal seeing off friends, was also killed. Mourners Wednesday said Aminov's family had moved to Israel after his death. 

The gunman was shot and killed by a security guard.

The subsequent investigation spanned the globe looking for ties to international terrorist organizations. The FBI eventually concluded that the shooting was a terrorist act, saying the gunman acted alone.

Today’s memorial focused on reminding the people of Los Angeles that terrorism can and has happened in the city, and warning against the dangers of extremism.

Avi Hen, Victoria's father, said "eveybody needs to know" that the shooting was terrorism, not just a random gunman "People don't know that, the public doesn't know that," he said. Hen, who visits the site every year at the exact same time — 11:21, July 4, the exact time Victoria was shot — encouraged the large turnout Wednesday to show up again. "We are the family, we're never going to forget this," he said. "But I hope you guys come every year."

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