Richard Lakin, an American-Israeli who was critically wounded in a terrorist shooting attack on October 13, died of his wounds on Tuesday morning, October 27 after spending two weeks in critical condition. Two others were murdered in the deadly attack.
Lakin, 76, was shot in the head and stabbed in the chest by two Palestinian terrorists on an Egged bus in the Armon HaNatsiv neighborhood in Jerusalem. He was hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Kerem and underwent a number of surgeries, but he eventually succumbed to his wounds.
Keren Lakin, Richard’s widow, spoke a few days prior to her husband’s passing, urging the Israeli and Jewish people to not seek revenge and refrain from feelings of hate.
She described the shock which she and her daughter felt when struck by the reality that, despite an acute awareness of terrorism, it was hard to believe that it hit so close to home. “We couldn’t believe it was us. Our lives changed in a minute.”
Keren further described Richard as a man who had been dedicated to advancing freedom and peace his entire life. Not only had he been an activist in the Civil Rights Movement before making Aliyah 32 years ago, but he also undertook efforts to advance Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Keren recounted how an Arab doctor had come to visit her in Hadsasah Medical Center. She pointed out that while it seemed “crazy,” it was crucial to keep in mind that the Arab doctor was in no way involved with the tragedy that befell her husband.
Seeking to advance the humanitarian creed by which Richard had lived his life, Keren related a moving message about hate.
“Our family wants to get the word out that this was tragic and brutal but our feelings are what Richard’s [were]. We must individually, as a Jewish people and as a country look for options and hate is not one of them. We are all along the political spectrum but we have to look for options so we can live here peacefully,” she said.
“Rabin said to build a new Middle East together. This hasn’t happened yet but we can’t lose hope,” concluded Lakin.