The children of those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks know all too well what catastrophic tragedy feels like. They all have a unique perspective on the recent attacks in Paris, and now a few of them have shared some comforting and understanding words with those victims of the recent Paris terrorist attacks.
Created by Vox, four children of 9/11 victims have recorded a message for the people of Paris, explaining how they’ve moved on after their own painful losses and offering words of encouragement. Each of the speakers was younger at the time of the attack. Now adults, they’ve had fourteen years to come to terms with what happened to their fathers, and they all urge those who saw a loved one die on November 13th not to stop living their own lives.
The stars of the video are seated against a solemn black background, as they speak directly into the camera. While their words are in English, there is French translation across the bottom of the screen.
“I know what it’s like to have my father killed on national television,” says Juliette Candela, 21. Juliette was just six when her father John, 42, died while working at Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial services firm that sustained heavy losses during the September 11th attack. The young woman has found a way to live her life and honor her dad in addition to helping others.
Francesca Picerno’s dad, Matthew, also worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. According to the New York Post, it was the day after her ninth birthday when the planes hit the twin towers. She explains in the clip that losing a parent the way she did—and the way victims of the Paris attacks did—is different for kids. She emphasizes, “He was killed. He didn’t just die!” She offers some pertinent advice; she warns others not to live in fear.
Terrease Aiken, 22, also has a message of hope, “To the people of Paris, keep spreading love.” According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, her father, Terrance Aiken, had been working at the World Trade Center for a few days when he was killed in the tragedy. Terrease was only eight. She says, “I do believe it is up to us now. Because we know what anger and hatred looks like and we can’t add to that anymore,” she says.
Watch the positive message. I imagine many can find comfort in these words from those who understand what that grief feels life.
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