A family member of a hero who saved the lives of two women by charging at Hamas terrorists spoke out in an interview with Fox News Digital about his final moments.
Addir Mesika, 23, was born and raised in New York. He was with three childhood friends, his girlfriend, and another young woman at the music festival which became a massacre after Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel and butchered, tortured, raped and mutilated Israeli civilians.
“He was a real hero,” Morielle Lotan, Mesika’s aunt, said. “I think he knew what his end was going to be, and he did it anyway.”
Mesika and his friends were resting in the tents at the end of the party when they heard rocket sirens. Hamas sent out missiles from the Gaza Strip as a cover for their ground invasion. The group of friends quickly packed, got into the car and drove to a small bomb shelter for safety. While in the car, Lotan said Mesika was texting his younger brother about what was happening. At the time, they didn’t know that Hamas terrorists infiltrated parts of the country.
When Mesika and his friends heard machine guns and Arabic language – it dawned on them that there were terrorists looking to hunt and kill. They saw the terrorists approaching other shelters and throwing grenades into them. When they heard terrorists approaching their shelter, Mesika and his best friend Eli instructed the girls to hide, left the shelter and charged at the terrorists to attract attention.
The boys were killed by gunfire in a heroic act to save the women, who remained in the shelter for six hours until the Israel Defense Forces rescued them.
Mesika, Eli and another friend named Matan – who were childhood buddies – were buried side-by-side together in Israel.
“There’s some… vortex that we’re in at the moment,” Lotan said. “We’re broken and devastated, and angry, and sad and worried.”
Mesika was a larger-than-life person, and Lotan said his family intends to emulate that quality.
“And now we all have to live a really large life in his name because that’s what he would have wanted. And we have to be meaningful with our lives because he was meaningful with his,” she said.
Lotan said her family has received an outpouring of support.
“I have never seen this kind of support in all of the years that Israel has been in existence. And it’s beyond the military support. It’s the human to human,” she said.
Lotan said 3,000 people showed up to Mesika’s funeral, and many remarked to the family how they observed his love of life.
“Addir loved his military service. He was in combat engineering. He didn’t talk a lot about it. It was clandestine for the most part. But he loved life. And he cared very much about being able to be free and to live in a country that prioritized freedom and protected freedom. And he fought for it and stayed in the military for longer than the standard mandatory service. And that’s what drove him, really. I think that is his love of life,” Lotan said.
“I think that I keep hearing his voice watching this. Both his family being sad, but also the state of his country. And I think that Addir would want [Israel to be] really making sure to eradicate that kind of threat… And prioritizing that, but also not forgetting that there is a day after and that we have to be thinking about that day after now,” she continued. “I’m going to do my best and his family will do their best to try and not only take care of the immediate needs that Israel has right now, but also try to be a lighthouse for what’s to come afterward and help rally the support towards rebuilding and healing.”
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