Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and national security adviser Robert O’Brien unveiled a commemorative mural Thursday honoring humanitarian worker Kayla Mueller, who was killed by ISIS in 2013.
“Today, we are here to remember Kayla Mueller for who she really was — an American hero,” Ducey said, speaking at the Arizona National Guard Barry Goldwater hangar before a crowd of Army National Guard members.
DEATH OF ISIS HOSTAGE KAYLA MUELLER DISCUSSED DURING VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
Republican Sen. Martha McSally and Mueller’s parents – Carl and Marsha Mueller – were also in attendance.
The work, titled “Into the Breach,” was painted by artist Stuart Brown and depicts the 2019 raid that killed ISIS terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was involved in Kayla Mueller’s kidnapping.
It was commissioned by the 75th Ranger Regiment, and the Mueller family had to seek permission to receive their own copy of Brown’s work.
Carl and Marsha Mueller are avid supporters of President Trump and attended the unveiling just a day after being Vice President Mike Pence’s guests at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City.
The pair also made an appearance at the Republican National Convention in August and were recognized at this year’s State of the Union address.
The mural will eventually be put on display at the Arizona State Capitol.
“We are here today because your daughter is revered and beloved the world over and thanks to you, her legacy will live on forevermore,” Ducey told the Muellers at the event.
Kayla Mueller, who grew up in Prescott, Ariz., and attended Northern Arizona University, was working for a non-governmental aid group in Turkey in 2013 when she accompanied a friend to Syria and was taken hostage.
She was held for 18 months by her kidnappers, and other captives later reported she endured rape and torture at the hands of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
“Kayla Mueller was a warrior in every sense,” Ducey added. “Comforting the anguished and serving as a light in the darkness. And even through the darkest nights of captivity, Kayla’s light grew only brighter.”
In February 2015, her captors announced her death, though remains have never been recovered.
Al-Baghdadi was killed during a U.S.-led raid in Syria in 2019 and other militants were taken into custody, including two who were charged on Wednesday with hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of Mueller and other captives.
Referencing the news, O’Brien pointed out that the “work is not [yet] done” to honor Kayla.
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“Yesterday, the United States brought back two ISIS thugs,” who will be prosecuted in federal court in the deaths of Kayla Mueller and other Americans, he said.