Flags in NJ ordered to fly at half-staff for Anita Datar, victim of Mali attack
Flags will fly at half-staff throughout New Jersey on Nov. 24 in honor of Anita Datar, a Garden State native killed in the terrorist attack in Mali, Gov. Chris Christie's office said in a press release Monday.
Flags at all state buildings will be lowered to half-staff "in recognition of the lives and in mourning of the passing of Anita Datar and the other victims of the terrorist attacks in Bamako, Mali," the governor's office stated. The attacks took place at a hotel in Mali on Nov. 20.
Datar of Takoma Park, Maryland graduated from Mount Olive High School in Flanders in 1991 and earned her undergraduate degree at Rutgers University. She earned a master’s in public health and a master’s in public administration.
A statement from Datar's family last week indicated that she was a senior manager at Palladium International Development and the mother of a young son, whom she considered her greatest accomplishment.
In the statement, the family said everything Datar did, “she did to help others – as a mother, public health expert, daughter, sister and friend.”
Datar's work in global health and international development took her to numerous countries around the world. She also spent two years in Africa with the Peace Corps before continuing on to her career, eventually becoming a founding founding board member of Tulalans, a nonprofit group that aimed to help poor women in India make informed choices about health care.
"Anita Datar is a true hero and role model of the highest order, who bravely immersed herself in dangerous environments, and whose life's work is a testament to her tremendous courage, remarkable compassion, and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of those most in need," Gov. Christie said in a press release. "It is with deep sadness that we mourn the loss of Anita Datar and all the victims of the terrorist attack in Bamako, Mali, and we pause to offer our sincerest sympathies to their families, friends, and loved ones."
Dan Alexander contributed to this report.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.