It is hard to imagine that it has been 14 years since that day that changed my life forever. I met evil personified 14 years ago, on June 11, 2003, when I was on bus #14 in Jerusalem and an 18 year old terrorist boarded my bus strapped with explosives and detonated. His goal was to kill and maim as many innocent people as possible and he did. Over one hundred of us were injured and seventeen innocent people were murdered including American, Alan Beer, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. I know that I am lucky to be alive, as those seated and standing around me were killed. Terrorism and the toll it takes on its victims is not hypothetical to me. I will live with the physical and emotional scars from that day for the rest of my life.
As a victim of terrorism, I understand other victims in a way no one else really can. While we all feel terrible after a terror attack, and while all of our hearts break as we watch the death and destruction, it is hard to really relate to the victims of an attack. The vivid images and sorrowful stories we see after attacks in places like Manchester and London is nothing short of devastating but, simply not the same on television or through social media for most people to understand the abject horror of a terror attack. I truly do feel the pain of the victims, most recently in Manchester and London. After my own attack I founded an organization, Strength to Strength, to provide support and resources to help survivors pick up the shattered pieces of their lives.
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