Prescott’s Kayla Mueller, her parents honored by President Trump in State of the Union
Kayla Mueller of Prescott was honored by President Donald Trump during his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Feb. 4.
Trump addressed her parents, Carl and Marsha, and spoke of Kayla after acknowledging the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State group leader who died last year.
Kayla was a humanitarian aid worker, who was kidnapped in 2013 from a Doctors Without Borders hospital outside of Aleppo, by the Islamic State group before she was killed in 2015 at the age of 26.
During his speech, Trump said Kayla was murdered by al-Baghdadi after spending more than 500 days in captivity and being kept as a prisoner “of Al-Baghdadi himself."
“On the night that U.S. Special Forces Operations ended al-Baghdadi's miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room,” Trump said. “He was told that the brave men of the elite Special Forces team that so perfectly carried out the operation had given their mission a name: ‘Task Force 8-14.’”
It was a reference to a special day: Aug. 14 – Kayla's birthday. “Carl and Marsha, America's warriors never forgot Kayla – and neither will we."
Al-Baghdadi died in October after running into a dead-end tunnel and igniting an explosive vest, killing himself and three of his young children, Trump said at the time.
Following are the full remarks that Trump made about the Muellers:
“We are joined this evening by Carl and Marsha Mueller. After graduating from college, their beautiful daughter Kayla became a humanitarian aid worker. She once wrote, ‘Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love. I find God in suffering. I've known for some time what my life's work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.’
“In 2013, while caring for suffering civilians in Syria, Kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS, and kept as a prisoner of al-Baghdadi himself. After more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, al-Baghdadi murdered young, beautiful Kayla. She was just 26 years old.
“On the night that U.S. Special Forces Operations ended al-Baghdadi's miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room. He was told that the brave men of the elite Special Forces team that so perfectly carried out the operation had given their mission a name: ‘Task Force 8-14.’ It was a reference to a special day: August 14th — Kayla's birthday. Carl and Marsha, America's warriors never forgot Kayla — and neither will we. Thank you.”
The Muellers, who attended the State of the Union, were unavailable for comment. When Trump recognized them during the speech, they rose to their feet and displayed a photo of their daughter to the applause of all in the chamber.
Three months ago – in response to the killing of al-Baghdadi – Kayla’s father told Fox News: “It was very touching to know (Trump) knows Kayla’s story … speaking her name.”
Since Trump mentioned Kayla and her parents, it has moved across social media, including a thank you message on Facebook by Mayor Greg Mengarelli: “Thank you President Trump for recognizing Kayla Mueller and her family tonight. Great tribute to a special lady. God bless the Mueller family.”
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