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Friday marks 30 years since Ari Halberstam died in terror attack on Brooklyn Bridge

Friday marks 30 years since Ari Halberstam's murder on Brooklyn Bridge
Friday marks 30 years since Ari Halberstam's murder on Brooklyn Bridge 02:36

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Bridge was bathed in sunlight as tourists walked across the East River stretch on Friday. 

The iconic spot is associated with unthinkable pain for Devorah Halberstam, who could not stop her tears at a commemoration ceremony for her son, Ari. 

"We stand here now on holy ground. Every time I cross the bridge, I stop and say a prayer for my son. His blood is entwined in the steel beams of this bridge," she said, wiping tears from her eyes. 

On March 1, 1994, a terrorist opened fire on a van carrying Jewish students, murdering Ari Halberstam and injuring three others. 

"On that day, at that moment, my life was forever changed. We became victims of terrorism," she says. 

Through the decades, Devorah Halberstam has become one of the nation's leading anti-terror activists, involved in passing the anti-terrorism act of 2001. She is currently the chair of the NYPD Hate Crime Review Panel. 

"This country takes a different view towards terrorism because of what happened on this bridge and on this ramp," said NYC Mayor Eric Adams.

Years after the attack, the gunman, a Lebanese-born cab driver, confessed behind bars that he attacked the students because they were Jewish.

This summer, the Anti-Defamation League announced it is offering a $50,000 reward for information about any possible co-conspirators who helped plan the shooting. 

The ramp leading up to the bridge bears Halberstam's name, and the Jewish Children's Museum was created in his honor. 

"The face on the front of the Jewish Children's Museum is the face of a child. But as you get closer, it's actually the face of thousands of children. And what we need to do as a as a community is to talk about love, to talk about our commonality, and to talk about respect for one another," says New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

"I have not seen Ari for 10,957 days, but I will always remember my first born child, 6 feet tall, with eyes crystal blue as the ocean and shining like a diamond. With a basketball in one hand and a prayer book in the other," his mother said.

The convicted shooter, Rashid Paz, was sentenced to 141 years in prison. According to the ADL, he died behind bars in 2022. 

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