National Cathedral service honors WCK workers killed in Gaza, led by José Andrés

Celebrity chef and founder of nonprofit World Central Kitchen (WCK), José Andrés, paid tribute to his seven employees who tragically lost their lives during an aid mission in Gaza. The memorial service took place at the Washington National Cathedral on Thursday.

“They took a leap of faith in order to provide nourishment for strangers, with no expectation of ever crossing paths,” he declared, acknowledging that his staff embodied the finest qualities of humanity. “Their acts of selflessness should serve as a catalyst for us to strive for improvement, to become the best versions of ourselves.”

The seven aid workers had just completed their food delivery mission and were leaving a warehouse in Deir al-Balah, located in central Gaza. They were traveling in two armored cars through a “deconflicted zone” when an Israeli airstrike unexpectedly struck their vehicles.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took responsibility for the unintentional strike and expressed his remorse, describing it as a “tragic event.” However, he acknowledged that such occurrences are unfortunately common in times of war.

During the celebration of life, Andrés delivered a heartfelt speech where he expressed his admiration for each worker. He emphasized the significance of every innocent life lost, stating that even a single life taken is too many.

He emphasized that food should never be used as a weapon in times of war. He also stated that humanitarians, being the best among us, should never be targeted.

Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, was present at the memorial as a representative of the Biden administration, according to Politico.

President Biden reached out to Andrés after the strike to express his condolences and released a statement expressing his outrage at the tragic deaths of the workers, which included an American Canadian dual citizen.

Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) also attended the memorial service.

Coons took to the social platform X to share a powerful quote by José Andrés, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging and addressing the suffering endured by those affected by humanitarian disasters. According to Coons, it is crucial to be the catalyst that brings light into even the darkest corners of the world.

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