US Honor Flag arrives for slain TSA officer; LAX ceremony held


The honor guards from the TSA, Airport Police, LAPD, Coast Guard and Customs and Border Patrol stood together, welcoming the arrival of the U.S. Honor Flag, flown in on American Airlines Flight 2431 to honor the memory of TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez.

Soon after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the U.S. Honor Flag took flight, traveling the country to pay homage to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Hernandez is the first TSA officer in history to receive the honor.

"He was a great officer, exactly what we would expect in each and every employee, was proud to come to work every day," said Jason Pantages, assistant federal security director for TSA. "He worked hard, professional and most importantly, he was passionate about his job. He really loved what he did."

The 39-year-old Hernandez was killed Friday when authorities say 23-year-old Paul Ciancia walked into LAX, pulled out an assault rifle and opened fire.

A motorcade completed two laps around the Central Terminal Area, and the Los Angeles Fire Department executed a "water cannon salute."

A moment of silence will be held at all airports nationwide at 9:20 a.m. PT Friday to honor Hernandez. The flag will be at Hernandez's funeral. Details about the funeral have not yet been released.

The ceremony comes as L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin is requesting a report on how airport officials communicated with stranded travelers following the shooting.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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