12 years after the devastating terror attacks on September 11, 2001, Brigadier General Dov Shefi is missing his son, Hagay, more than ever.
Shefi represented the families of the Israeli victims of the September 11 terror attacks at the annual memorial ceremony which took place in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
The day of the 9/11 attacks, Hagay Shefi, who was an outstanding officer in the IDF and an expert in integrative software for financial systems, was invited to lecture at a bank managers conference on the 106th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. After the plane hit the tower and before the tower collapsed, Hagay called his wife Sigal and, while keeping his cool, described the tower that was engulfed in flames and smoke, told her that he sees no chance of surviving in such a situation and ended by saying goodbye to her and his family.
Hagay was only 34 years old at the time of his death and left behind a wife, son, daughter, parents, a brother and a sister. Hagay's body was found in the rubble two days after the terrorist attack, and he was buried in a Jewish cemetery in New Jersey, near his home. A year later he was brought to rest in Israel.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday, Dov Shefi said that 12 years after the terrorist attacks, the bereaved families feel the loss every day.
“Hagay left behind a wife and two children who are successful in their studies,” he said. “There are other victims who left behind families in Israel. There’s Daniel Lewin who headed an American company and was on the plane that hit the South Tower, Shai Levinhar who was married and had a two-week-old girl and who was in the North Tower, Alona Avraham from Ashdod who was on Flight 175 that hit the South Tower, my son who was in the North Tower and Leon Lebor, who immigrated to Israel and then returned to the U.S. where he worked for IBM.”
Shefi said the loss of his son has been translated to a close relationship with his daughter-in-law and grandchildren. “We turned the loss into concern and love for them, it strengthens our hearts. In recent years I was teaching at the Faculty of Law at Bar Ilan University . We’re sorry that alongside Hagay’s tremendous success, he did not live to see the huge achievements of his children.”
As a legal expert, Dov Shefi has published many articles on the 9/11 attacks and he he has been critical in some of them of the U.S. authorities who have not yet finished doing justice with those who planned the September 11 attacks.
“There are thousands of lawsuits pending against supporters of terrorism such the Saudi prince and others, he said. “And there is the ongoing trial against the planner, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who was extradited from Pakistan to the U.S. and his trial is being conducted in a military court, but has been going on for years. I believe it was possible to conclude it within two years.”
Shefi said that he is comforted by the fact that Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed,
"Obama was able to do justice with the one who was responsible, Osama bin Laden who received a death sentence, albeit not in the generally accepted way through legal proceedings, but nevertheless justice was done. My wish for the world is that there will be fewer attacks as bad as the ones in 2001, where thousands of innocent people who were in civilian facilities were killed for no reason.”